Family Playtime at Nauset Beach, Eastham Photographers

cape cod family photographers

Jacqueline sent us an email back in March, inquiring about family photos for her, her husband, Shaun, and their two sweet boys, Colin & Rory. We often get injuries, but not all of them are full of such warmth & goodness. And, I’ll admit, when we get an inquiry like Jacqueline’s we instantly feel a connection and get super excited to meet them and get them in front of our cameras.

I recently said that photography for me is less about creating pretty pictures…although that’s always something we strive to do….and more about connecting with people. And, I think Andy would agree. Making connections and building relationships is super important to us. There’s something that happens when we feel like the people we’re photographing are as excited about us and what we’re doing together as we are….a kind of magic is created, one that inspires and builds and always seems to lead to pretty pictures.

So, when we got together with Jacqueline, Shaun and the boys last week, all signs were pointing to the start of a beautiful relationship. We met them at their summer home in Eastham, which had been built by Shaun’s grandfather and recently remodeled to beachy perfection.

Jacqueline came out from the bedroom, arms wide open for a hug and I was immediately smitten! When we met their sweet boos, well, we couldn’t wait to get started. So, we began with a couple of quick pics in front of their special home. Are they cute or what?!!! They made it so easy to love this sweet family!

Next, Baby Rory is all love & giggles playing with his sweet Daddy, who can’t get enough….such sweetness!

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We left the house in our separate cars and headed to Coast Guard Beach, me & Andy leading the way. In our eagerness to spend more time with these lovely people, I inadvertently sped past a park ranger, who immediately pulled us over. Awesome first impression!!

Thankfully, he let us off with a written warning. Thank you Officer Hunt!! Although, it delayed us by 20 minutes, we had plenty of time built into the session, and truthfully, it was better to let the sun get a bit lower in the sky. So, it all worked out.

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Happy. Happy. Happy family!

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A momma’s love….there’s little that’s better than that!! Can we talk about sweet Rory and that smile for a second? Such a love bug!

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Sweet, gentle little Colin took some time to get used to us, but once he did…well, we were fast friends. Just love this happy moment captured by my super talented and equally sweet hubby! He has an amazing way of connecting to children that was one of the reasons I fell in love with him and, all these years later, it continues to warm my heart watching the way kids respond to him.

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On top of the world….that smile…I just can’t handle it! I can just feel the connection he was having with Andy in this moment and I just love it so much!

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Love this sweet, happy, really lovely family!

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Shaun sharing a moment with his very happy son! So much love!

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The light at the beach was so awesome and the clothing colors Jax & Shaun picked were perfectly complementary. Add in a tide pool with some ripples and I’m as giddy as Colin!

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We all want those wonderful posed family photos that inevitably become cherished family heirlooms, but the candid shot on the right makes my heart sing. Just love everything about it!

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A still tide pool + setting sun + a beautiful family = perfection.

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A momma and her baby boy….Swoon!

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I LOVE the photo on the left of Shaun with Colin….talk about a mini me moment! They literally have exactly the same body language in this moment. And, Shaun walking with Rory….such a good Daddy!

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More playful moments with momma…

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Oh Momma, you’re so funny!!!

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Run Daddy, run…the wave is coming!

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That was fun….do it again Daddy!

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Another candid family moment that warms my heart!

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Splish, splash, Colin was taking a bath…sort of!

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The two finger hold….my favorite!! Is Jacqueline beautiful or what?! I could have photographed this family for days!!!

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We headed to the Fort Hill bridge down the road for a couple of quick sunset photos.

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Peek-a-boo, I see you!

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The no-see-ums were soon bad, but that didn’t stop us from having some fun! These guys are such troopers and seem able to have fun no matter what’s happening.

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Someone’s getting sleepy. Love this sweet cherub!

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THIS moment….this is what makes life so sweet!

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Jacqueline and Shaun…..thank you soooooo much for choosing us to document your beautiful family! Jacqueline, you had me at “hello!” but meeting you, Shaun and the boys exceeded all expectations. You guys are just the sweetest! Such lovely, kind, fun, warm, loving people and parents and we hope you feel all that and more when you look at these photos of our time together! We hope too that you guys keep us in your lives and that we see you all again soon and continue to grown this wonderful new friendship….perhaps without the police & biting bugs next time! Thank you again for everything, and especially for reminding us why we love what we do!

Big love & hugs, Christine & Andy xoxo

Ronnie, Frank & Family ~ Truro Beach, Cape Cod Photographers

family on cape cod beach

We first met Ronnie and Frank ten years ago, when we were photographing the amazing wedding of Beth & Jeff at the Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth. They were guests at the wedding and Ronnie had come up to us, raving about us and our work, having not yet seen the photos from the wedding. She’s just one of those people who approaches everything from a ‘glass half full’ perspective. In the dictionary next to the word positive is a picture of Ronnie. It’s hard not to immediately fall for her, and fall we did.

Happily, she,  Frank and their two daughters, Lauren & Kim, have all stayed in our lives over the years. We’ve shared dinners and giggles. We’ve photographed Lauren & Kim, for engagements and weddings, and now we get together every couple of years, when the gang all comes together for some happy family time at Ronnie & Frank’s place in Truro. It’s a beautiful respite, and for us, a sort of homecoming.

The past couple of times we’ve gotten together, it’s been so fun to see how the family has changed and expanded. What was once a family of four is now a family of twelve. We met two of the newest family members recently….and they just added more love & goodness to an already fairy tale family. Click HERE and HERE to see our past family get togethers.

As in year’s past, we met them at their summer home in Truro, and then headed to their favorite beach just down the road, Corn Hill beach. Below, sweet Hadley (left) and her sis, Piper, make their way to the beach, with brother, Wake, and the rest of the gang in tow.

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Wake is all smiles and getting so biiigggg!!! While Hadley, hams it up with Grandpa Frank and CrayCray. So much love!!!

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All the grandkids get together for a sweet pic with CrayCray and Grandpa Frank. Sweet baby Hailey (on CrayCray’s lap) was not feeling up to a photo session, but with the grown ups being big goofballs behind the camera, we got an almost smile.

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Sweet sisters, Hadley & Piper, are just delightful, as CrayCray enjoys some snuggle time with baby sis, Finley. Meanwhile, serious cousin Lincoln takes it all in stride. Love these sweet boos!

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Completely unprompted by anyone, Hadley & Piper share a sisterly smooch. Be still my heart!!!!!

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All the girls….

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Hello beautifuls!!!

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Mark & Kim are seriously the coolest parents I know. With their four gorgeous babies, they spent their week in Truro camping. Yup! Camping with four kids. Four kids and three tents! A sleeping tent, a kitchen tent and a wardrobe tent, complete with hanging racks for all the kids’ clothes. Total superstars and my heroes! And, can we talk about sweet Piper pulling her dress out at the sides, proud as punch and relishing the attention. Love this family!!!

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Speaking of love….check out baby Finley and those delicious thighs!! If ever there was a quintessential Cape Cod moment, surely this is it!

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Cousins…running, playing, loving life and making the most of their time together….Be still my heart!

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Can we talk about the unbridled joy written all over sweet Hadley’s gorgeous face? It is moments like this that are what life is all about! And, these are the ones that make me really love what we do!

Ironically, there was another family on the same beach having their photos taken. The photographer had them perfectly positioned and all was calm. I couldn’t help but wonder what they must have thought of our coordinated chaos….with kids running every which way (parents also joining in). I don’t think there’s a right way to do it, but for Andy & me…this is where it’s at. We’re just big fans of photographs that speak of life being lived and of kids being kids!

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Sweet Hailey eventually warmed up to her new friends….and man does the camera love this girl!! And, so does her gorgeous cousin. Be still my baby-loving heart!!!

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Families that play together stay together. And, this one sure knows how to play. Love them and these sweetly shared moments!!!

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While all this silly play was happening around them, Ronnie grabbed onto Frank and said, “Can you believe all of this is ours?” Awwwww…and YES! Because love breeds more love…and these two childhood sweethearts have it in spades!

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A little family sunset stroll….

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When it was all over, I was walking back with Ronnie and her super sweet cousin, Diane, who was mostly an onlooker for the photos. But, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to photograph these two sweet ladies, who like me….are not super psyched to be the center of attention and have a camera pointed at them. But, sometimes, it is in those moments where giggles and joy produce the most lovely, heart-felt smiles. LOVE!!!

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Back at the house, Ronnie asked if we’d be open to photographing their nightly ritual, where all the kids pile in their grandparents’ bed and Grandpa Frank sings a bedtime lullaby. UMMMM….YES!!!!!!! These sweet, little boos showed their appreciation with applause and sleepy smiles. And, with the sun setting and new memories made, our hearts were full. Loved this and loved that the family let us be a part of it!

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Sweet, sleepy Hailey….just yummy!

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This next one of her big brother melts my heart!! Photography for me is less about creating pretty pictures and more about connecting with my subjects. I get so moved when I look through my camera and share a moment of real connection with another human being….whether it’s a child, a bride or groom, a friend or coworker. It’s like they let me see them….the real them. And, for me, it is a moment of pure love. I know that sounds super corny, but it’s true….as human beings, we want to be seen, understood and accepted. And, when I photograph people, it’s like there’s this unspoken agreement that I’m going to be there to see them, accept them and love them and they willingly let me in. It truly is the coolest thing ever, because in so doing, they are also accepting and loving me. And, in this next photo…that’s exactly what I felt when I pointed my camera at little Lincoln, and he peered through my lens, with those soulful eyes and wry smile……all I could see was love.

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As we were leaving, Lincoln and his mom shared a moment…watching as the sun slowly faded past the horizon, bringing to an end another day of love & family time on beautiful Cape Cod.

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Ronnie & Frank….thank you!! For once again sharing your beautiful family with us!! For opening your hearts & home to us and for making us feel more like family than “your family photographers.” We love you guys and feel so grateful for your friendship. Kim, Mark, Lauren, and TL we feel so grateful to have been able to watch as you found and created love for one another and then built on that with the addition of your beautiful babies. We have loved watching you all grow and change and look forward to our next get together!! Kimmie….I’m serious about riding with you next summer!! Let’s make a mighty team of two! Love you guys to bits! Christine & Andy xoxo

A surprise proposal ~ Chatham wedding photographers

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Craig had reached out to us several weeks ago about documenting his surprise proposal to long-time girlfriend, Rita. He had seen a proposal session we did with super cuties, Jim & Keri, on our blog and decided he wanted his own happy moment captured in photographs.

Craig had chartered a small boat to take him and Rita on a sunset cruise around the waters off Chatham Harbor, past Stage Harbor Lighthouse. His plan was to have the boat drop anchor off a secluded island near Harding Beach Point, so he could get down on one knee and ask the girl of his dreams to marry him.

We were, of course, totally sold on the idea and super excited to pretend to be on the same tour, there to photograph the seals and sand bars……..all the while, cameras ready to capture the moment when Craig proposed. We spoke with Helaine & Tom, owners of Chatham Boat Tours, to go over the plans and make sure everything went off without a hitch.

The day finally arrived last week and we were so looking forward to meeting Craig & Rita, but a little nervous about the secrecy of our mission. Happily everything went according to plan and a completely unsuspecting Rita say, “YES!!”

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Standing on the beach, pretending we were super interested in a dead seal that had washed ashore, we watched intently as Craig led Rita down the beach. Noting our readiness, he pointed to something down the beach and when Rita turned to look, he took a step back and dropped to one knee. Watching her expression as she turned around was awesome, particularly after having  heard so much about Rita & Craig and his plans to propose.

Craig had spoke lovingly of their relationship….sweethearts since high school. He talked about the ring, which had been picked with meticulous care, and told us they were celebrating their ten year anniversary with plans to  visit Falmouth with friends, who would conveniently back out  a few days earlier, so Rita wouldn’t be suspicious that the trip was anything extra special.

But, special it was indeed….and I’m still not sure who was beaming more after the proposal…Craig, Rita or me. It’s just so awesome to get to be invited into such a personal, intimate moment for a couple. And, getting to be around that kind of happy, new love never gets old!!

I just love the expression on her face as Craig readies to ring on it!

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And with a kiss and a promise….a happy new future emerges.

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Getting a close look at her new hardware….

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It was funny to be within earshot as Craig explained that Andy & I were in on the surprise and were actually there to photograph them…..

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We left Captain Tom & Helaine for a little walk around the island, heading straight for these cool dead trees that had, at some point, been growing along the shore.

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We hadn’t met Craig or Rita before, so it was fun to get to know them better and see how they are together. It is obvious that these two love each other very much and that this next chapter will be a very happy one for them.

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Seeing decaying tree roots along the beach was an unexpected and happy surprise…much like the proposal!

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Roots….they’ve already become pretty well established for Rita & Craig…and we look forward to seeing what sprouts up next for these two lovebirds.

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Ahhhh……does it get any better?

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I was slightly obsessed with the cool roots on the island.

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After some time to soak in the magnitude of what had just happened, our newly engaged couple headed back to the boat.

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But, first a quick stop in the lush beach grass for a bit more canoodling.

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Happy. Happy. Happy!

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As the sun set, it took the tide with it, leaving our boat stuck in shallow water. We all jumped out to lessen the load, and Captain Tom & Helaine pulled the boat to deeper water. It made for a fun photo opportunity of our lovebirds taking an unexpected dip. I love this next photo because it feels a bit like a metaphor for marriage, where it’s not always smooth sailing, but how you deal with challenges can make all the difference in how you weather unavoidable obstacles. The big smiles on these two beautiful faces tells me their future looks bright!

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Helaine had decorated the boat and had some chilled champagne waiting for the happy couple…

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And into the setting sun they head…with kiss and a smile and a wedding to plan.

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Kicking back and enjoying the ride…
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Back on land, we headed to Main Street, Chatham, where Craig & Rita wanted to celebrate with dinner and some phone calls home, to share the happy news.

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Awwww…are they sweet or what?! On the boat ride back, Craig & Rita shared with us that they had both attended Beth Sholom Day Camp in New York as kids.  “But, we hadn’t really known each other, since the young boys and girls did not interact too much.” Craig told us. But, in the summer of 2004, they finally met, having made the switch from campers to Counselors in Training.

“It was actually love at first sight for me,” Craig told us. “We initially started flirting, since we went to rival junior high schools.” Their school rivalry continued through high school, and they officially began dating the summer before their junior year of high school, two years after first meeting.

Their relationship continued to grow through college, despite their schools being a four-hour drive away from each other. Last fall, they moved in together to a flat in Manhattan. And, now they will begin planning their wedding. We are secretly (or not so secretly anymore) hoping that as we did for Jim & Keri’s CT wedding, that Craig & Rita want us to be there to document their next happy milestone too!

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Roses are red, violets are blue, we were there for the yes, and would love to be at the wedding too.  A bit lame, and shameless….I admit! But, these two are just so stinkin’ cute!

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Dinner was calling and the light nearly gone from the sky, so it was time to bid adieu to our newly-engaged, new friends. Hugs were exchanged and we said, goodbye. They turned to leave and we watched as, finally alone, they shared a moment. Perhaps my favorite photo of the day.

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Craig, thank you so much for choosing to share this special moment with us. It was both an honor and an absolute privilege! And, Rita….there was a lot for you to take in, and we so appreciate your warmth and openness to us. We have no doubt you already are well aware of this, but you are a very lucky woman. Thank you both so very much for allowing us this peek into your lives and we wish you both many, many more happy years together! With big love & hugs, Christine & Andy xo

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