Heather, Jesse & Family Beach Session

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If you know me at all, you know family is super important to me. Being with Andy, my dad and his partner, my sisters and their hubbies, my nieces & nephews, cousins and aunties…it’s just where my bliss can be found.  Don’t get me wrong, we have our share of family drama…like everyone. But, when we all get together and everyone is clicking and enjoying each other, there is little else that makes me as happy.

And, when I look back over my life, I am sometimes struck by how quickly the time has passed and how those moments of togetherness and family bonding are so fleeting, too far and in between. And life seems to have move at a pace which leaves me feeling as if I can’t keep up.

So, documenting families has become a bit of a passion for me. It’s a way of giving families an excuse to stop and just be…..together, to enjoy a sunset and a couple of hours of silliness on the beach (or whatever favorite place they covet).

We get to document that time of togetherness for them and in turn, they provide a beautiful visual reminder to us of just how precious our moments of family togetherness are….and how we ought to savor them, because before we know it, the kids are grown, having kids of their own and all that is left are our memories and if we’re lucky….photographs that highlight our time with one another.

This time of year, Andy & I are generally so busy that there is very little time for enjoying togetherness with our own families. But, this summer, we got to enjoy a rare week away with family. It was an incredible time of enjoying one another…something I am sure we will all treasure forever (thank you sweet Debbie for making it happen!!!). My only regret is that I didn’t hire someone to document our togetherness. Andy & I took some photos, but it’s not the same as having someone else do it for you…someone who allows us as photographers to be present, in the moment, and part of the story. I won’t make that mistake again!

Anyway, family time is special…and it was something I was thinking a lot about when we got together with a very special family a couple of weeks ago. We met up with Heather & Jesse, whom we first met when they were planning their 2011 Wequassett wedding.

Andy & I fell pretty hard for Heather & Jesse and their wedding was everything we knew it would be and more! We’ve been fortunate that they’ve kept in touch over the years. But, we hadn’t met their sweet kids, Ella & Jackson, until our recent get together at Chatham Lighthouse Beach.

We LOVE kids…we love their energy and enthusiasm for life’s little things. We love their innocence and curiosity…their timidity or excitability. Getting to be around children brings us both a lot of joy. But, Heather & Jesse’s kids were exceptionally awesome! They are the perfect combination of their parents and our bond with them was instantaneous. And, it’s why I think the photos came out so awesome….if I do say so myself.

I’ve already blathered on too long…and if you’ve read this far, I’d be surprised. So, let’s just get to the good stuff….Say “Hi!” to Heather, Jesse, Ella & Jackson, and prepare to fall in love…as we have.

01 kids running

These are some very happy kiddos…..makes it hard not to smile looking at them, doesn’t it?!

05 cape cod beach photographer

Kids loooove when adults act ridiculous. Fortunately, I am very good at acting ridiculous! In this next one, I was crawling around on the ground, growling like a lion and challenged Ella & Jackson to give it a try. They were not opposed!!

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After we all got comfortable, it was time to get at least one Christmas Card photo for mom & dad. Taaa Daaa!

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Then back to silliness….which is my favorite way to be…and to photograph families being.

04 family playing cape cod

Because sometimes amid all the fun, the kids give you this….

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And this…. Sweet momma, I love these moments. Breaks my heart a little that I won’t ever have one of my own, but I just love watching women who I admire and care about enjoying their special moments!!!

03 family on beach

Big sister pig pile….yummy!

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Ella is a ham and I just loved out time together. She was silly and sweet, playful and just generally super excited to be spending the evening on the beach with her family and her two funny new friends. I wanted to take a few photos of her on her own, and all of a sudden she gave me this pose and face….I nearly fell in the sand. Love her! Meanwhile, Andy captured this super sweet moment with Jackson, who was admiring a piece of driftwood he found.

02 kids on beach

Cuddling with Daddy….

06 father and son on beach

Cuddling and kisses….does it get any better?

07 beach kisses

Yup…it does! Flying makes it better! Hello sweet Ella-bella!

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Come on Daddy….this way!!

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Mom, I’m so funny…..Yes, Jackson…you are!!

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I love this next photo….it makes me think about where these two were in their lives when we first met them and how far their love has taken them since. I am excited to see where their love will take them next!

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A family that plays together, stays together.

09 cape cod family photographer

Yippeeee….

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Happiness….Heather & Jesse have created room for a lot of it in their lives and we couldn’t be happier for them!

11 family beach photos

Big sissie, showing baby brother the way. Be still my baby-loving heart!

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Sweet Ella kept giving me specially-selected seashells all evening. Here she is hunting for some goodies, while jolly Jackson reacts to his new pal, Andy…the funny guy behind the camera!

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Run Daddy…the waves are coming!

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Days like these….where we are with the ones we love most, just enjoying the moment. Being present and open….it’s what it’s all about!

12 family beach photos

Eyes of an angel, like pools of ocean water….look too long and you might drown in the yumminess!

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It’s a wrap….the sun has set on a wonderful evening with some really wonderful people and their wonderful little lovebugs! Togetherness preserved….

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Heather & Jesse….thank you sooooo much for sharing your beautiful family with us! We remember when you first reached out to us for your wedding and how important preserving memories were to you. We hope we did you proud here with this sneak peek from our super fun evening together with your sweet boos! We absolutely loved seeing you both again and getting to meet Ella & Jackson was even more of a treat than we expected. Just adore them and both of you and we thank you so much for keeping in touch all of these years and for letting us be a part of your family togetherness time!  Big love & hugs, Christine & Andy xoxo

Kaley & John’s Wequassett Wedding

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Day weddings…can we talk for a second about just how much I love them!! I love them a LOT!! Particularly when they take place at a setting as stunning as the Cape’s only five start resort — The Wequassett Resort & Golf Club in Harwich. We work at Wequassett a lot, but most of our weddings there are evening weddings, with a 6PM ceremony start time, which really only leaves 2-3 hours to enjoy the view.

I think most people who choose to get married here on Cape Cod do so because of the beauty of the place….the sparkling deep blue water, sandy shores, the cedar shingles and chic elegance that only this part of the world offers. Getting married in the evening is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but once the sun sets, you could be anywhere. But, when you’re ceremony is at 10AM, the entire day and the beauty of the place can be enjoyed languidly.

And, from a photographer’s standpoint, we just love starting and finishing early. It’s like we get two days in one. Even 15 years later, I still get the wedding day jitters (which is how I think it should be…the day I stop feeling nervous is the day I probably shouldn’t be doing this anymore), so starting early works for me…let’s me harness that energy right away and lets the creativity sparks fly.

But, what I really love most about day weddings is how relaxed everyone we’re photographing seems to be. I know a lot of couples worry that folks won’t dance or it won’t seem “fun enough.” I had the same misguided thoughts when Andy & I opted for an evening wedding. But, having now seen lots of different kinds of weddings, starting and ending at different times, I’m a HUGE fan of the day wedding when it’s being held at a place known for its views. It’s like a cocktail hour that lasts all day long.

Kaley & John’s day wedding was the perfect example of what makes day weddings so awesome!! They were blessed with a picture perfect summer day…sunny but not too hot. Getting ready started super early, but who can sleep anyway the day before one of the biggest commitments a person can ever make? And, they had an after party later that night, so they still go their late night dancing and debauchery.

We first met up with them just after 7AM…a pretty early start time for us, but again, we’re up then anyway and I preferred putting my nervous energy right to good use. While Kaley and her bridesmaids were finishing up with hair & make up in the Cape Villa suites, I headed to her room to capture some wedding details. Just love the early morning light as it fell upon Kaley’s sparklicious Jimmy Choos and her crazy beautiful two-piece wedding dress. In all the hundreds of weddings we’ve photographed, I have yet to see a dress I didn’t love, but this one definitely ranks among my favorites. It looked super light and comfortable and on Kaley, it was angelic! It was like it was made just for her!

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This dress….this stunning woman. I just can’t!

01 dressing

Haley putting on her earrings, with her gorgeous momma-Dianne, Nana-Della, and best gal pals in the background.

02 earrings

Toasting things to come….

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John getting some internet help on tying his tie…Windsor knot??

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John and his friends looking good.

03 john

Off she goes to meet John for their first look moment and some photos with the bridal party. Does she look angelic here or what?!

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Love the anticipation on Kaley’s beautiful face. Are they a stunning couple or what!?!

04 first look

That moment…when you first see each other on your wedding day.

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These two really got lost in the moment, and hiding in the bushes, letting them have their moment…I admit to smiling from ear to ear as they did!

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Because this is how they were together…just lost in the moment! So, so beautiful!

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And when photos were done, it was time to head to the church….

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Waiting for the ceremony to begin, Kaley and her dad, Barry, share a moment that makes this daddy’s girl’s heart sing.

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Peeking out as her girls head down the aisle….just love the expressions!

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Taking in the words and heart-felt sentiment shared with Father John during Kaley & John’s ceremony at Our Lady of the Cape.

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John had a little trouble getting the ring to go on, much to the delight of his nephew and Father John.

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They did it….

05 ceremony

Love this moment as John & Kaley leave the church and head out into their new future, as husband & wife.

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Back to Wequassett with their friends….

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Off to the dock for a coupe of quick photos…

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06 john & Kaley

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hello movie stars….

07 John & Kaley

Kaley & John had their reception in the pavilion, which is such a pretty setting for a luncheon…overlooking the water and meticulously groomed grounds.

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08 details

Friends enjoying cocktail hour…

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Hey Megan!! Shout out to my girl!

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Love this photo of Kaley’s mom, Dianne, with her mom, Della. Such sweet women in this family!

09 guests

See what I mean about day weddings….like a garden party. Just love it!

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John and his lovely momma, Joan. And his sweet dad, John with his wife, Marilyn. Are they adorable or what?!

10 parents

Laughter, friendship and beautiful reflections.

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Cocktails and conversation.

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Making an entrance to the reception….

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And enjoying their first dance as husband and wife.

11 first dance

Listening as John’s best men Andrew & Jason share words of love and congratulation…

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Saying thank you with a warm embrace…

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Kaley reacts to some childhood stories from her long-time friend and MOH, Megan, during her funny, heart-felt toast. Everyone needs a friendship like this!

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Catching up with friends.

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Just love John’s face as he watches Kaley dance with her sweet dad, Barry.

12 father dance

And, Joan’s face as she finishes her dance with her son. I imagine these moments are so special for parents…knowing their children have found someone who makes them happy. I just love getting to see these exchanges of love and pride. So special!

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Having fun on the dance floor….

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Just love John’s sister’s proud momma reaction as she watches her son enjoy himself on the dance floor. (PS…these two have the same laugh! Love it!!)

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Taking a break from all the fun.

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Looking like a movie star, Kaley and John are led to the dock for their sail away.

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Just love this next one…

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And they’re off…

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Much to the delight of their family & friends.

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With a wave and a smile, a new happy chapter begins for two lovely people.

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Thank you Kaley & John for allowing us to document this special time in your lives. We had such a fun day with you both, with your wonderful friends and families! It was truly a pleasure!! And, we hope you find that these photos reflect not only the beautiful love you have for one another and for those closest to you, but also how much we enjoyed our time with you all on that perfect summer day! More love and goodness to come soon in your proofs, which should be online very soon! Can’t wait for you to see them all! With big love & hugs, Christine & Andy

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