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

Amanda & Kevin’s Sandwich Engagement Session ~ Cape Cod Photographers

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Getting engaged is a milestone moment…a happy commitment by two people to join their lives together, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do they part. We’ve photographed a few proposals for couples who got engaged and it was super fun…being in on the secret, documenting from afar, getting a front row seat to that happy milestone moment and being able to preserve the memories in photographs. Just so cool!

Equally as enjoyable for us is getting to photograph couples weeks or months after the proposal, when they’ve had some time to adjust to the idea of being engaged and our time together is for reflecting on where they have been in their relationship and where they are going.

Andy & I really enjoy these photography sessions and having the extra time to spend with our soon-to-be married couples before their wedding.  A couple of weeks ago we got together with Amanda & Kevin for their engagement session. Kevin had actually proposed to Amanda months earlier on the same Sandwich beach, so it was the perfect setting for us to get some photos of them together, enjoying one another.

As is the case with so many of our couples, Amanda & Kevin expressed concern prior to the session that they aren’t great at being photographed. And, as is always the case when we hear this, our cameras told a very different story!

Here’s just a sneak peek at the love & goodness we captured between these two super sweet, really lovely, totally smitten people…who, by the way….were a BLAST to photograph! Truly…we had so much fun photographing and just generally being around these two!

What made it so special is just how they are together…super comfortable, fun and lighthearted and so totally and obviously in love. That obvious love was showcased in their cuddliness and need to be touching one another, which from our standpoint is exactly what we’re looking for when we do these sessions!

One of the things Amanda & Kevin told us had influenced their decision to choose us as their photographers was that when they looked at our photos they “didn’t just see the joy & love (we) captured, (they) could feel it.” And, that’s exactly how we feel when we look at these photos of them! See for yourself…

01 beach engagement photos

Amanda & Kevin’s clothing choices were soooo great for highlighting the beach colors, the breezes and the elegant, yet approachable drama that is Cape Cod’s shoreline.

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Normally for these sessions, we put our couples in different pretty locations for a cool shot, but every now and then just do something that is completely them, like turn around to see if we’re done, move the wind blown hair out of their face, and these are the photos that really sing…..I LOOOVE everything about this photo on the right! Andy you are a genius!!)

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More easy breezy beautiful moments with these two sweeties…

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A walk on the boardwalk and a pause for a quick kiss.

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Sitting on the boardwalk and talking about happy things awaiting them on their wedding day next summer.

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In your arms…it’s where I always want to be!! What I love so much about these two, is how even though we might have asked them to sit or stand in a certain place, how they held onto each other once there was all them and just so full of love.

04 couple under boardwalk

Andy & I have been married for over 16 years and I think being able to laugh together is one of the things that has seen us through the ups and downs. Love how these two laugh together.

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And so much love between them…

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A smile that says it all…

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As if the sun could feel how brightly these two and their love for one another burns, we were treated to the most beautiful sunset as the session wound to a close.

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Like a warm kiss from the sun, love burns in my heart for you.

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See what I mean about how these two touch each other…fingers intertwined like branches of two trees standing beside one another, making it hard to know where one begins and the other ends.

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07 sunset beach engagement session

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Sweet tenderness…received with a smile.E0324_0246

Change the camera settings and everything changes…

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Wrapped in your arms and in your love . . .

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Perhaps my favorite moment from the day, where everything came together perfectly.

E0324_0293Amanda & Kevin . . . . thank you soooooooo much for inviting us to share in this exciting, love-filled time in your lives. You two are wonderful and we absolutely loved spending the afternoon with you and photographing you together. Can’t wait to do it all again next summer! Until then, we hope these photos serve to keep all the happy feelings flowing! Big love & hugs, Christine & Andy  (*A great big, heart-felt thank you to Annie & Brian for spreading the bello love and sending Amanda & Kevin our way! We just love when our special, totally smitten couples send other equally special and smitten couples our way! xoxo)

Jackie & Chris’s Wychmere Harbor Club wedding ~ Harwich Port photographers

bride & groom on beach path

Jackie & Chris’s wedding day was Cape Cod perfection at it’s best….quintessential beach wedding goodness, right from the rainy, cloudy start to the spectacularly sunny finish. With Wychmere Harbor Club’s sandy beach paths and their sailboat entrance, it’s what one dreams their wedding will be when deciding you want to say, “I do!” on these beautiful shores of the Cape.

We’ve known Jackie for many years now, since first meeting her when she was MOH at the wedding of her big sis, Jenn. We loved her then and had always hoped we might be there to document her wedding day…when the time was right. Well, the time was right…and everything could not have gone better!

We first had the pleasure of meeting Chris last summer, when we photographed him and Jackie for their crazy beautiful love session in Sandwich. Click HERE for a look.

Chris is a quiet, kind, warm, and clearly smitten with Jackie. They are really such a sweet couple. We loved spending time with them and had so much fun at their e-session, which was also classic Cape Cod goodness. Jackie’s dress for the e-session was awesome!!! I literally gasped when I saw her, knowing it would catch the wind and just be so beachy beautiful. But, man, did she turn up the heat for her wedding, with her amazing mermaid style Amsale gown that hugged in all the right places. Chris’s classic grey JCrew suit was the perfect compliment! Truly, all of the details they selected were beautiful and came together perfectly thanks to the flawless execution of planner, Allison Liset and her team at Elegant Engagements.

Here’s Jackie & Chris’s invitations by Kleinfeld Paper….. elegant and understated, with the perfect pop of gold! And, just love the image they chose from our e-session for their Save the Date card. Perfect!

rustic chic wedding invitation

Getting a little help from her beautiful besties, and looking so totally stunning, with hair & make up by the talented duo…Stacey Keuhn and Andrea Kooharian-Simpson. Love the girls’ beautiful blush gowns by WToo.

bride getting dressed

Isn’t she lovely!!!

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Getting a little veil help from her beautiful momma, Maria.

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Jenn’s sweet pooch, Winston, did not know what to make of all the hooplah, so he hung out under the table…this face!!! LOVE!

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And across town, Chris & his fellas make their way to Holy Trinity Church in West Harwich.

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Posing for a quick selfie before the ceremony begins. So fun!

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Here comes the bride! I just love this candid capture by my talented hubby. You can feel the excitement and anticipation Jackie is feeling! This moment….so awesome!

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Jackie’s adorable niece, Mabel, checks out the church’s iconic stained glass in a quiet side room, while Jackie & Chris happily exchange their vows.

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Love that Jackie took a moment to turn around and see the faces of family & friends, shining love & light on her and Chris. It is these moments that become treasured memories!!! LOVE!

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A beautiful moment of silence to reflect and send blessing of love & long life to Jackie & Chris.

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The look of love…speaks more than words ever could.

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And with a kiss…a new Mr. & Mrs. is made!

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Woooo hoooo!! Love this candid capture as big sis/MOH Jenn and best man Kevin follow Jackie & Chris out of the church.

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Into the Rolls Royce and away they go….embarking on a new and exciting chapter in their lives. But, first…time to party!!

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Friends pose for a quick selfie outside the church. Gotta say, I love the selfie trend.

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With a short gap between their ceremony & reception, Jackie, Chris and their family/bridal party arrive at Wychmere to do some photos before guests join the fun.

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Time for family photos….and a little golden bling.

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FAMILY….is there anything better?!!!

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The bridal party…ready to party!

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We stole Jackie & Chris for a little alone time by the beach, but Jackie decided she wanted to steal a little kiss first and blocked us. So cute!!!!

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Peek-a-boo, we see you!

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Hello lovelies!!! Beachy perfection!!!! Love love love beach weddings!!!

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Add in a sailboat and a super sexy couple…and I’m in heaven! Love that I got to share this quiet moment with them as they sailed into cocktail hour.

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Love how Chris’s sunnies match the sail covers.

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Taaaaa daaaaaa…I mean, come on!!! What’s not to love about Cape Cod weddings?!!!

bride & groom on sailboat

Meanwhile, back at the dock, Chris’s niece, Kayla, waits with her Papa Joe for Uncle Chris & Auntie Jackie to arrive. When Andy & I started Bello 14 years ago, we decided early on that we wanted to photograph weddings together, so we could really tell a more complete story of our couples’ wedding day. It’s been one thing that’s really made us stand out and our work shine and we’re so happy to see more studios offering two shooters.

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Greeted by waves and warm smiles from their adoring family & friends, Jackie & Chris make it to the dock…thumbs up!

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Waving to the crowd as they approach the dock. One of the great things about Wychmere is the dock and the balcony above that allows us to get a group shot of everyone for our couples. We just love that!! And, we hope they do too!

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Jackie’s crazy-cute nephew, Braedon, makes a mad dash for the dock. Love him!

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Some more beautiful details from their spectacular day, including flowers by Lilacs.

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I’m not a fan of the expression sisters before misters…but I do love the way women love & support each other. These friendships we forge with one another are like no others. Our gal pals get us, are there for us, inspire and cheer each other on. And, this photo sums that up for me. I just love it! And, loved hanging with these beautiful, wonderful, totally awesome women!!!

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Oh Jackie….you are a vision! Like a perfect flower!

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We did it….we’re married. I’m yours and your mine…forever!

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Jackie & Chris make a happy entrance as their guests gather on the dance floor. Can’t you feel the celebration?!

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Their first dance….showered in love & happy goodness. A moment to remember forever!

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It’s as if everyone in the room disappeared for them in this moment….LOVE!!!!!

wychmere wedding first dance

Uncle Chris gets dissed by cheeky little Kayla…priceless!!!

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Kevin was admittedly nervous about giving his best man speech, but he totally nailed it!!!! And, this photo….his face….I nailed it too! 🙂 Can I say that?! But, seriously……it’s good, right?!

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While dinner was still going on, and the sun has settled below the horizon, we stole Jackie & Chris away for a few minutes…one more cherry on the top of an already cherry-rific cake. I had seen this field of Queen Anne’s Lace earlier in the day and knew it would be an amazing spot for photos. It was a small grassy area that didn’t look like much…but TAAAA DAAAA! I just love when I find spots that others might look right past and find a way to make them extraordinary. I try to challenge myself with this every time I shoot and it makes me so happy that I can still do it…14 years later!

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Completely unprompted, Sir Christopher kisses his beautiful bride’s hand and at once, my heart melted! Swoon!

bride & groom in a field of flowers

Back to the party they go….even the in between moments with these two made for stunners like this.

bride & groom in a field of flowers

Chris gets down on it as Beantown rocks the house.

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Jackie schools her friend Jordan in classic Madonna. Get it girl!!!

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That same friend Jordan busting out some serious singing moves of his own…much to the delight of everyone, including the band!

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A little wedding hustle….so fun!!

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What an amazing time we had at this wedding! Jackie & Chris, thank you so very much for being so warm and wonderful…for sharing such a special time in your lives with us and for giving us so much love & goodness to capture! Thanks too to Maria & Charlie for inviting us to document another wedding for your amazing family! You guys are wonderful and we adore you and our time together! Joe & Lee….it was so wonderful meeting you both and getting to know your wonderful sons. A special shout out to the bridal party…who rocked it and made our job so fun!! Special thanks too to Wychmere’s Karen Rood and staff for making our job not feel like work! To all the amazing vendors who remind us why we are lucky to do what we do in this beautiful place we call home!! Jackie & Chris, we hope you enjoy this sneak peek…honestly, it was sooooo hard choosing just a few photos to share while your proof book is getting printed! I feel like we left so many amazing ones out! Cannot wait for you to see them all!! Honestly….the best is yet to come!! Love you guys! Christine & Andy xoxo

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