Ian & Ivana - Blessed Sacrament Church & Walpole Country Club, Walpole, Massachusetts
Ian & Ivana contacted us last fall about having their wedding in Ian's hometown, Walpole, MA! For them, it was a travel wedding, for us it was conveniently down the street from us! This gorgeous couple lives in Florida and had an amazing family member do their coordinating and decor for them. Collectively they have amazing, classic taste combining neutrals, greens and pinks so it was fitting the rhododendrons were blooming in the backyard where Ian grew up!
The two days prior to their wedding it was a hot 90 degrees here and humid - Saturday we woke up to a major cold front and...rain. Sometimes you just have to be ready for a plan b due to weather! Rather than do first look pictures at Bird Park in Walpole we decided to utilize the stunning home Ian grew up in. An early 1800s home, it was the first school in town! The stairway and front double doors made for the perfect first look location. This couple was so flexible and understanding, they went with the flow all day rather than feeling upset about the cold and rain.
For every one of our couples I hand paint a canvas for their detail flatlay shots.
We discuss ahead of time which color they want!
Ivana chose Ian's historical childhood home as her getting ready location -
look at that banister and that window!
John led Ian in with the double doors closed, had him turn around and then opened the doors. We always love a groom's reaction to seeing his bride for the first time in her dress. We also love first looks because it gives a more relaxed opportunity to do couples portraits prior to the wedding. On this particular day we were so thankful for a break in the rain! The break gave us the opportunity to run out to the backyards for some portraits. If we had waited until after the ceremony at the Country Club everyone would have been miserably cold and wet. In fact once we were at the Country Club, Ivana was so cold the consensus was to just finish family portraits inside the reception room before the guests were released from their cocktail hour location. I felt so bad for her being used to the Florida heat!
After a quick 10 minutes it started to rain again and it was time to head over to the church for the ceremony, it was a beautiful Mass.
From the church we went over to Walpole Country Club, the bride & groom spent some time warming up in their car with heat on and a blanket! We grabbed some very quick family pictures again (we also got some at the church altar).
Ivana is originally from Macedonia where dancing is very much a tradition at weddings,
I loved that they combined Macedonian music and pop music!
Their wedding had the most amazing dance floor all night!!
I'll be updating more photos as I edit and deliver -
I can't wait to update the altar and family portrait photographs!
Published in GBH Boson!
Sometimes our worlds collide. Endometriosis and photography!
It's no secret that for the majority of my life I struggled with what 1 in 10 women have been diagnosed with - endometriosis. For some it's a minor blip, it might cause some discomfort or come up during fertility treatments. For others, like me, it caused life changing pain and organ disruption. It took over in more than one sense. As a child I had horrible side and abdominal pains all month even prior to menstruation. When I did start my cycle at age 11 it became so unbearable I couldn't keep up with academics, nor anything active or social. This pain only became worse as I aged. In high school I missed so much school and couldn't concentrate. I was hurt emotionally and mentally because I was told I was going to be held back, I wouldn't amount to anything and that I was making up my pain. Being sent to the nurses office and being given a Tylenol is honestly still angering to me looking back. I barely got into college and had difficulties keeping up.
After graduation I lost job after job due to needing surgeries I didn't have the leave time for - ovarian cysts rupturing, suspected appendicitis (surprise - that was actually endometriosis). It took me a decade of pain and laparoscopic surgeries every 6 months to remove new growths until I found an excision surgeon who specialized in cutting the endometriosis out rather than burning the top layer off. My husband was with me throughout all of it, the pain effected him too especially when we wanted to grow our family. We had our baby girl (pictured above, now 11) and years later had a missed ectopic that went late, causing one of my tubes and ovaries to go necrotic and need removal. I also suffered a leg injury during surgery, my femoral nerve being pinched too hard for hours while I was on the table. I needed help walking for 6 months due to loss of sensation of my right leg and suffer nerve pain still on a daily basis. I also suffered sepsis due to the infection, I'm thankful to have survived but that was my last straw.
I haven't needed surgery since finally having had a thorough expert operate in 2016 but I had also experienced so many terrible employers by this point. I'm healthy but I also have a healthy dose of mistrust now! In 2016 I started Sarah Aprea Photography. I figured - self employed doing something that makes me happy - why not give it a try?!
I struggled like any small business does getting on my feet and learning the ropes. I studied photography in college but it had been years before. I invested in education, learned from peers and did things the right way. In 2022 my husband shot his first wedding with me and from there we re-branded to Aprea Media to encompass that it's not just myself and we hope to add video eventually.
In 2017 or 2018 I met some amazing women doing fantastic endometriosis advocacy work, I volunteered photography for two marches and that led to work at MIT for their department of gynecological research. I photographed the Boston Premier of "Below the Belt" - the second installment film after "Endo What." This led me to the opportunity to be an official MIT vendor and to work on more corporate events!
I'm thankful today to be a parent to a child who won't have to suffer like I did and so many girls do. I'm also thankful for the community I've met because of endometriosis and for the push to just go for it with self employment. If you have any questions about endometriosis please feel free to reach out to me!
Tony & Jen decided for their vows to have a backyard elopement combined
with photos at the Endicott Estate!
It was the perfect combination of relaxed, going with the flow with a plan to do pictures at a beautiful venue! We are so happy for this family!
Jen wanted to wear her cowboy boots and what really stunned us is that she made her own wedding dress! Completely designed by her it was layered in a delicate lace and the straps had gorgeous flowers on them!
Since this was a quick elopement there weren't many wedding details to capture, however, this couple did want their favorite whiskey captured on camera! During the pandemic they started to collect unique whiskeys and these were some of their favorites.
Last but definitely not least, while elopements do not have as many details to capture we always make sure to document the signing of the marriage certificate!
Congratulations Tony & Jen! We love working with elopement couples!
If you're in the Boston, Massachusetts area and you're interested in documenting your elopement or micro wedding we're happy to work with you. We have week day flexibility at hourly rates!
My very first styled shoot! This styled session was very special because the models are really a married couple! Emily & Sean were the perfect models because you can really see their authentic love for each other. This curated session was essentially a wedding without the guests! Everything down to the long table set up, linens, place settings, flat lays, cake, champagne, dress changes, hair, makeup - you name it - it was there! We even got to eat the cake after! I don't think the day would have been such a success if it wasn't for Jenny Murray Weddings + Events. When choosing my first styled shoot I wanted it to especially be with someone with a lot of experience pulling off such an event!
Jenny went with a unique color palette and totally went with it - emerald! The deep green florals, the brides maid dresses - even the wedding ring! I was all so cohesive I absolutely loved it. The palette was so perfect for a winter wedding, I'd highly recommend emerald green and neutral tones for anyone exploring options for next winter. They even had brass and gold colors mixed in for the silverware and table props! The whole day was a wedding dream!
Venue - The Garden at Elm Bank @elmbankevents
Planning+Design - Jenny Murray Weddings+Events @jennymurrayweddings
Planning + Design Assistant - Kiley Murray @_kileymurray_
Bridal Gowns - L'elite Bridal @lelitebridal
Flowers + Tabletop - Thistle and Bone - Sheryl @thistleandbonefloral
Tabletop Rentals + Champagne Glasses - Curated Rentals - Diana & Danielle @curated_rentals
Invitations + Gold Menu - Custom Creation Boutique - Lauren @cust.creationsboutique
Cake - Bella Confections - Lauren B. @bella_confections
Makeup - Brittany Eileen Beauty @brittneyeileenbeauty
Hair - Hair To Admire - Heather @hair.to.admire
Calligraphy + Stationary Details - Simply Done for You @simplydoneforu
Gown Designer - Sareh Nouri @sarehnouri
Gown Designer - Oscar de La Renta @oscardelarenta
Gown Designer (short dress) - Ines Di Santo - @indesdisanto
Bridal Gown Dressing Service - Christine Cornell Bridal Dresses - @christinecornellbridaldresser
Tuxedo - Delux Tux @deluxtuxwalpole
Emily Ellison - Bride - @em_ellison
Model Sean Ellison - Groom
Bridesmaid/other Bride Model - @alliemariesilva
A new year, still in a pandemic. Getting back to in home photography sessions safely!
The year was 2019, it was a busy fall season and I had just invested a lot of my hard earned cash into marketing myself as strictly an in home documentary photographer. You should see the stacks of beautiful postcards and flyers I ordered! The problem is, no one ever saw them. 2020 happened. We all know what that means. The irony of it!
You see, 2018 and 2019 were incredibly rainy autumns. It even rained once during an outside family session when it wasn't even on the radar! My camera and lens got wet. On top of that, the sweet family who had just dressed up, come from a hair blow out and made it on time for their session then had to come back the next day to do it all over again.
This also meant rescheduling other clients constantly due to the inclement weather. It was a disaster and I was so over it! I thought, wouldn't it be amazing to have control over my climate, shoot in client's cozy homes and have more control over my schedule? Plus, families are always so much less stressed in their own homes. They don't have to rush to be on time somewhere, toddlers have all of their favorite toys and snacks with them and the temperature is right where it should be. I was going to work hard at marketing clients who wanted the same style!
2020 happened. Pandemic, loss of employment or pay cuts for many; not knowing our futures. Fall 2020 was my slowest season ever. Many people couldn't justify the cost of family photos as a necessity. The entire year was incredibly slow, my worst year since opening in 2016!
You may be saying at this time - GET TO THE POINT SARAH. Okay, I am getting there, promise.
I am finally back to doing in home sessions, I am vaccinated, boostered, wear my KN95. I trust in my clients that they are also being as safe as they can be leading up to their sessions. My social circle is SMALL. I homeschool our 10 year old (we have since kindergarten, this wasn't a Covid choice) and we get our groceries delivered. We are still not traveling, man I miss traveling. If I know I've had any exposure to any illness, I let my clients know immediately and they are so kind to do the same for me.
As 2021 was wrapping up I had SIX in home newborn sessions, all felt incredibly safe. I'm looking forward to booking more 2022 babies this year for those who feel comfortable with sessions in their homes. I would love to book for in home family sessions again as well. If you feel safe, are expecting or know someone who is and would be a great fit for a low-stress, beautiful in home newborn photography session then please send them my way. I would be truly honored to capture their sweet moments. I also REALLY miss in home family sessions, winter is a fantastic time of year to snuggle up or bake something yummy. So if you're ready to book and curious click below!
We are deep into the slow of winter here! You know - that post-holidays-it's-dreary-out-when-is-it-Spring time of year! I've been trying to embrace the cold this year. I have made a real effort to be more active, get out and socialize, hike (even winter camp) and do winter pictures for clients! I have to admit it has helped the time go by a little quicker this year.
Our eight year old daughter is also active outside year round - she even works at a farm in their homeschool program rain or shine! I love these mornings! We get there early, I drop her off and watch the goats and sheep have their breakfast. I can see my breath and know I'm starting my day off with fresh air. The farm has a rolling green pasture with a stream running through; it reminds me of Ireland!
I've always loved time spent on farms! Growing up in Ashland, MA my closest friend always had horses. I spent so many afternoons with her caring for them and mucking out stalls. I admired her ribbons from dressage and her precious portraits with them. She now owns her very own horse ranch in North Carolina and gives lessons to children with anxiety (you can find her here: https://www.facebook.com/steppingstoneslessonprogram/) Definitely check her out if you're in the Charlotte, NC area!
Now, my closest friend in Massachusetts also has a beautiful horse, Likely! See how beautiful he is?! ---->>>
She was so gracious and trusting with me to do my first equine session with them.
I would really love to do more equine sessions and I'm offering a major deal to help build my portfolio (contact me for more info). I have so much experience with newborns, families - even dogs and cats - I would love to add more horses to my portfolio!
Sessions would lean more lifestyle documentary - the kind of session where you can see the love and passion between owner and pet! Do you know anyone who would love a session like this? Reach out!
On Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting this sweet family in a quaint town just north-west of Boston. Their home was a beautiful antique so perfectly preserved to work for the modern family but show off the charm and character of an older New England home. I was quickly greeted by new big-brother Ben who was so excited to tell me about his new baby brother, Everett!
Ben quickly warmed up and wanted to show off his trumpet playing skills and showed me all of his favorite stuffed animals. My favorite was a little life-sized hamster (so cute).
I always make sure the new older sibling feels totally included in family newborn sessions. This is such a fresh transition time for them!
I love capturing little detail shots of how tiny newborn hands and fingers are with their parent's hands! Someday it is sweet to look back at how much they have grown.
I absolutely love the composition of this image with their Massachusetts pillow, I loved how cute their home was decorated! Quintessential Massachusetts home and family!
It wouldn't be a newborn session without some time spent in the nursery. Everett's nursery is the cutest whale theme while big-brother Ben has an adorable elephant room!
Ben totally warmed up, started posing and jumping on the bed! I embrace monkeys jumping on the bed because it means adorable, natural smiles all around.
This was also the perfect time to grab a quick sibling shot while Ben was (sort of) sitting still! (Notice mom holding those wild feet down :) )
To wrap it, up I always make sure to get beautiful images of both parents on their own with new baby! I especially love to get a few extra of momma and baby - as a mom I know how frequently I'm behind the camera rather than in the front!
If you got this far, thank you so much for reading about this precious family session! Newborn Lifestyle Sessions are my absolute favorites. - Sarah