Kate, James and Family Session ~ Orleans Portrait Photographers

Last summer we were invited by Kate to photograph her family at their family beach in Orleans, Coast Guard Beach. The beaches down Cape are so different from the ones here in Falmouth & Mashpee. Short, somewhat rocky (though totally lovely) beaches are replaced by long, expansive sandy shorelines, that seem to go on for as far as the eye can see.

It’s always a pleasure when we get to photograph on the lower Cape. And, last summer we had such a blast with Kate, her husband, James and their two sweet peas, Isabella and Jacqueline. So, we were super excited when Kate reached out to us again this year to once again photograph her family. To add to the fun, she was bringing her parents, Barbara & Jack, and her sissie and her family, Jennifer, Ben and Gracie.

Once again, we visited Coast Guard Beach, a place Kate and her family have all spent a lot of time. Kate was even showing us photos from  her surfing days at the beach. Girl can ride a wave!!

We don’t have any of those photos to share, sadly, but we do have a few of our favorites from our time with this lovely bunch. Without further ado…we start with the crazy cute cousins…Jacqueline, Isa and Gracie. Be still my baby-loving heart!

Kate, James and the girls, Isabella & Jacqueline…are they cute or what?!!

Jennifer, Ben and Gracie-Grace! I’m dating myself here, but Gracie totally reminds of me of Shirley Temple in this photo….adorable girls and a smile that’ll stop you in your tracks. Couldn’t you just munch those cheeks?!

Barbara & Jack with their sweet grand babies. Oh the love!!!

Playing in the waves with Daddy….go Gracie, go!

The whole gang….such lovely peeps!

Hugs & kisses with mommy…

There was a giant octopus shaped kite flying at the beach when we were there and Jacqueline was OBSESSED!! She couldn’t get enough. Just love this moment with Dadda…

Jacqueline has done some modeling…can you tell?! I could photograph this girl all day, every day!

Still looking at that kite…bless her sweet little cheeks!

Meanwhile, Gracie was all about the water. Let her go and she was off and making a b-line for it. In this next photo, mommy & daddy join her and she couldn’t be happier.

Running like the wind with mommy…

Footprints….they show us where we’ve been and lead us where we’re going.

Catch me if you can….gotcha!!!!

Just love how Isa is pulling up her dress, as if to keep the water off it. Precious!

Every night before bed, Kate & James scoop up their girls for a family group hug….and the girls LOVE it! So did we! (Hey, got room for two more?!)

While the rest of the family headed back to the house and called it a day, Kate, James and the kids stayed for a bit longer with us…for a little quality family time playing on the beach. These are the days!!

Eureka!!! Look what Jacqueline found! Those eyes!! I just can’t!

If life can be made up of a collection of moments like these…where nothing else matters but the people you’re with….well, that would be a very full life!

Look at me balance Daddy! Oh, beautiful, happy, lovely girl!!

And, with the sun officially set, we have a few moments of magic light….my faveeeee!

Summer feet…

simple pleasures…

and digging for treasures…

…where love can always be found! Here, with you!

Kate & James….thank you once again for sharing your beautiful family with us and for introducing us to more of your wonderful family!! We loved spending time with all of you and hope these photos remind you of an afternoon well spent….where the sun shone brightly, the water was warm and inviting, and love swirled all around! Can’t wait to do it again!! Till then, big love to you all!

Christine & Andy xo

Lauren, Garrison and Family ~ Chatham Family Photographer

Today is my sister’s birthday. And even all these many years later, I can still remember the day my parents brought her home from the hospital. I was outside on our front steps to greet them and my mom let me hold her. I had to sit down first and when they put her in my arms and I looked into her eyes, she felt like a gift for me. My own real, live baby doll.

Perhaps the reason I have this strong memory is because there were photos to support it. Pictures of me, with my curly brown hair in a barrette, my 70s striped red t-shirt and shorts, smiling broadly with baby Kimmy all wrapped in a light cotton cloth, cuddled in my arms, there on our front steps.

Photographs have a way of not only preserving our memories, but giving them life….from those big life moments, where a family grows through marriage or birth, to those seemingly little ones, those in-between moments of happy family togetherness. Getting to preserve these moments for people we adore has become a real labor of love for Andy & me. We hope that each pretty picture we capture will keep memories alive for the families who invite us into their homes and lives, and ask that we document their togetherness.

While our family sessions often include poses/set ups that meet the principals of sound photography…..really, the photos that move us are the ones where we give our subjects room to roam, so that the REAL them shines through. These allow for those priceless moments in between.

A couple of weeks ago, we got together with Lauren & Garrison, one of our wedding couples from 12 years ago. We’ve photographed them and their growing family every few years and sometimes Lauren’s parents and brother join us, and each time, we see some new memories being made for this wonderful family. And always, it is our pleasure to help preserve those memories.

Here’s a look at some of our most recent together time with these wonderful people, including Lauren’s niece, Chaia, and her cousins/Lauren’s sweet babes: Oliver and Julia.

Lauren is great about providing simple, fun activities for the kids to relax and enjoy themselves….and not think so much about being photographed. This year it was hoolah hoops and bubbles. So fun!!

The last time we saw Oliver he was still in diapers. He had no memory of us and upon entering the back yard of Lauren’s dad’s house, announced that he was feeling too nervous to be photographed. So, we just let him play with bubbles, encouraging to see how big he could get them….and not-so-slowly, he came bursting out of his shell, and quickly stole my heart.

Lauren’s lovely mom, Linda, joined us for a family session this year. It was the first time we’d seen her since the wedding and it was such a sweet reunion for us!! Just love this family….and what’s better than a little Meme’ time? Maybe a cousin’s cuddle?

I’m not sure where the idea for doing a super serious photo came from for these munchkins…but watching them try to get here was sooooo fun!!!

And involved a LOT more moments like this next one…..such happy, shining people!! Love these guys!

Sweet Julia is such a love! She is such a happy, joyful little spirit, who was so excited about being photographed….which, of course, is EXACTLY how we photographers like it. So, when she asked, ” Can you take a photo of me with this flower in my hair?” we happily complied. Her smile was so full of excitement and just lights up my heart….as do the smiles of her happy wee family. Love these people!

The gang’s all here….(from left to right) Julia, Lauren, Garrison and Oliver, with Lauren’s mom, Linda, and big brother, Adam, with his sweet baby girl, Chaia. Such good, warm, loving, kind, fun, funny, all around awesome people! Right here are seven solid reasons why we love photographing families.

Adam and his baby girl….Chaia. She is such a sweet, soulful girl. I wanted to put her in my pocket and keep her close. She’s like a warm, loving beam of light.

The look of love…and the bond of an awesome Dad and his baby girl.

After a bit of time at the house with everyone, we took Lauren, Garrison and the kids to a nearby beach for some quality Cape Cod time….where they played and laughed and hunted for hermit crabs.

Family….the cornerstone for every good thing in life.

All of our time with these awesome people has created a bond that runs deep and feels a lot like  F . A . M . I . L . Y .

Hermit crabs and soft shell crabs….checking out the gifts of the sea with momma.

These two peanuts make my heart smile…BIG!

As do these two sweet peanuts….(not much has changed, guys, since we first photographed you two twelve years ago!!)

Growing up sooooo fast. I remember when sweet Julia was just a baby…and here she is looking so grown up, confident, and full of beauty (inside and out) and her baby brother….I could just eat him up!! When Andy & I were getting ready to leave after the session, we were in the driveway saying goodbye and he gave me a great big hug, looked up at me with those big, beautiful eyes and puckered up for a kiss…but then seemed to have a second thought, like, “wait, I only just met her.” Before he could change his mind, I hugged him tight and kissed his sweet cheeks off, seemingly much to the delight of my sweet new friend. Getting to make connections like the ones we’ve made with these awesome little people is a gift I never imagined when Andy & I first decided to start Bello. We don’t have kids of our own, so getting to spend the quality time we do with these awesome families is just so incredibly rewarding and such a huge blessing, for which I am so, so grateful!

Here’s some of those in between moments that I love so….

…where siblings strengthen their bonds and create moments of togetherness….

…that we hope get woven into their collective memories of a life well lived, a charmed childhood and magical summers spent on Cape Cod’s sandy shores.

Lauren & Garrison…..we can’t thank you enough for inviting us back into your family’s fold, sharing with us your time to play and enjoy each other, and allowing us to preserve these precious, fleeting moments of childhood. We adore you both and are crazy about your wonderful kids! Spending time with all of you really does feel like spending time with our extended family. We hope you love these photos as much as we love all of you, and we look forward to the next time we all see each other! With big love & hugs, Christine & Andy xoxo

Will, Tracy and Family Play At Bourne Farm ~ Cape Cod Portrait Photographers

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On October 19, 2007,  Tracy & Will said, “I do!” at the stunning Ocean Cliff in Newport, Rhode Island. Andy & I were lucky enough to have been there with them…documenting all of the love & goodness. It was our fifth year photographing weddings and now, ten years later, theirs still remains one of our all time favorites.

Their wedding didn’t stand out because of the gorgeous setting and details, Tracy’s killer dress, Will’s awesome hot pink socks,  or even all of the beautiful fall colors in the changing leaves…though those things were all wonderful. It was because their wedding day was so full of love…Will & Tracy’s love for one another, but also the love directed at them from their amazing family & friends! We see a lot of love, but some just really stands out and theirs definitely did!

Although we’ve kept in touch via email and holiday cards, we only saw them a couple of times after their wedding…once to get some photos of them when Tracy was pregnant with Maggie, their oldest, and one more time while Andy & I were up in Boston for a dinner date night a year or two after their wedding. So, our reunion here on the Cape a couple of weeks ago was long over due and so very happily received!

Tracy had reached out to us about doing a family session in honor of her & Will’s ten-year anniversary. We were, of course, totally on board!! We wanted to do something nice for this wonderful family, who had been through more than anyone should have to go through…and all in less than a year!

It all started on October 6, 2016….and I only mentioned the date because as someone who has their own significant date, when life throws something really horrible at you, you remember the date. Don’t know why…you just do. Despite normal mammograms, Tracy had found a tiny nodule in her right breast. A biopsy determined that it was in fact cancer. More tests were done to determine the stage and grade and fortunately it was caught early, but to prevent metastasis elsewhere in the future, Tracy underwent chemotherapy and experienced all the awfulness that goes with that.

On November 11, 2016 Tracy & Will’s youngest daughter, Phoebe, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I can’t imagine anything worse than having your child diagnosed with a lifelong illness. Pheobe now depends on an insulin pump to control her blood glucose levels. I didn’t know her before her diagnosis, but I can tell you, diabetes does not slow this little love muffin down! And, while I’m not a fan of labels, she is the classic third child….precocious, super fun and spirited and definitely a shining star!

Here she is with her two equally as delicious, kind, sweet, bright, beautiful sisters, Nora and Maggie…

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On December 1, 2016, Tracy’s mom, Jane, had a seizure in the middle of the night and was hospitalized and unable to drive for six months. She was planning to move in with Tracy & Will to help out during Tracy’s chemo and had gone home after the first week of staying with them to take a little break. It was that night that she had her first seizure…no doubt a very upsetting and scary time for everyone!!

And, as if all of that wasn’t enough for any family to endure, Will’s mom, Kathy, got some freakish bacterial infection two months later that landed her in a coma. Doctors weren’t sure if she’d make it and told the family that even if she did survive, she would never walk again. This week, after months of fighting her way back to health, she walked with a walker.

“She can’t wait to walk into that doctor’s office and prove him wrong,” Tracy told us. We can’t wait either!!

Tracy finished her cancer treatment in March and now sees an oncologist every six months as part of Dana Faber’s Survivorship Program. And the family will no doubt celebrate tomorrow’s World Diabetes Day and the one-year anniversary of Phoebe being admitted to Children’s Hospital with her diagnosis with some yummy diabetic cupcakes….or brownies.

Despite all of these challenges and hardship, Tracy & Will wanted to celebrate…their marriage and their commitment to being there, lifting each other up no matter what life throws at them. And, they wanted to celebrate by preserving this moment in their lives and the happy memories they continue to make as a family. We could not have been happier or more honored to be a part of that!

And, just like their wedding…there was sooooooo much love!!! Like the love these two sweet girls wanted to give their momma. And, sweet Miss P…can we talk about her big personality and her tiny little crossed legs for a second??? This photo just sums her up for me.

01 mom hugging her kids

I come from a family of three girls and the bond of sisterhood is like no other. It runs deep and, at times, can cut just as deep. But, there are few others who know you as long as your sisters. They know when something is wrong and bothering you or when you’re on top of the world happy. They’ve been there for all the birthdays and holidays, cheering you on in your triumphs and picking you up when you fall apart. They love you and accept you, warts and all. And, when life throws unexpected things your way, they’re the first ones at your side to help you through. This photo sums that up for me. . . sisters and best friends.

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Happy, curious, adventurous, playful…

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…..loving, supportive, wonderful sisters!

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Phoebe was pretending she didn’t want to smile for us, but Andy jumping over me while I took the family group photo seemed to make her forget her no smile stance for a while. It had a pretty great reaction on the rest of the family too!

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Taking a break from all the fun for a minute, Maggie just sat on this cool granite bench with her dad. Soooo much love!

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Something tells me Phoebe is going to make great things of her life…whether that means climbing mountains, starring on Broadway or running the country. Just love this kiss for daddy moment, while he was helping her scale this rock wall.

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Nora….such a sweet soul, this one! And, that toothless grin….I just want to kiss her face off!

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These girls loved climbing the trees at Bourne Farm….nearly every single one! HA! They really are such cool kids…so playful and full of life. It’s amazing how resilient children are…how they have so much more awareness than we think to what’s going on around them, and yet, still they thrive. I think it helps when they know how very dearly they are loved and cared for. And, these girls definitely know that!

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More love for momma….love and toothless smiling faces. So yummy!! This photo of Phoebe makes me smile so much I want to blow it up and put it on my own wall, poster size. This little peanut, standing seemingly alone in a forest, defiantly sticking her tongue out like something out of Where the Wild Things Are. I just love it!

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And, this one…another brilliant shot by my brilliant husband…like a piece of art that just screams “childhood” to me…the good parts of childhood and the lonely, scary parts…but together they all make us who we eventually become….and with just one eye showing, it’s like giving us a small peek into who that will be and it’s just so beautiful.

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Happy gorgeous creatures climbing trees. Where cares and worries cannot reach!

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Family….it’s just the best!

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Because our sessions are longer than most, we like to incorporate some play time so kids don’t get bored and so they are more relaxed around us…which inevitably allows us to get better photos of them. For these three beauties, we played a few rounds of hide and seek. We were the seekers, they the hiders. It took us a while…but we eventually found them!

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Peek-a-boo, I see you!!!

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Then it was our turn to hide…. ONE.   TWO…. THREEE……….

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Ready or not, here we come….
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Three little monkeys sitting in a tree, hugging and playing with their sweet Dadddyyyyy. I think the biggest smile we got from Phoebe was when Andy let her and Nora climb our step ladder and then proceeded to shake it with them onboard….earthquake style. Whatever it takes….we have no shame when it comes to doing what’s necessary to get happy faces and make sure our kiddos have some fun!!

08 father playing with his kids

As colorful as fall itself….Love these warm, wonderful people!!!

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Tracy & Will…thank you both sooooo much for keeping us in your lives all these years and for wanting to celebrate your 10 year anniversary with us in this way!! We know it’s been a really hard year for you both, and no doubt for your girls too. We hope these photos serve as happy reminders of happier days ahead! Thank you too for the amazing photo you took of us with the girls….it’s not often we get that and it’s just the best so thank you!!! We will treasure it!! Big hugs to both of your moms…wishing them speedy recoveries and maybe we can all get together for an extended family photo session next year!! We think the world of both of you and feel so honored to call you friends…friends we don’t see very often, but friends nonetheless! With lots of big love and hugs, Christine & Andy xoxo

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