Gloucester Winter Wedding, Natasha & Paul: You and Me Sunday Driving

When Natasha first told me she and Paul were going to have an outdoor backyard wedding at the end of January, I thought she was a little crazy. I mean, that’s really taking a weather risk! At the same time, I couldn’t help but think of the amazing possibilities if the risk paid off! ROMANTIC SNOWFALL! Instead, the weather did something I don’t think anyone was expecting – it stayed warm! I think the temps hovered around an unseasonably balmy 40 degrees that day. Still chilly to stand outside for a while, but definitely doable and not unpleasantly cold. It was perfect! It also meant that everyone was okay with spending some time outside for portraits!

I arrived at the house while Natasha was getting ready and her family was buzzing around putting the finishing touches on the backyard. She asked me to photograph the activity happening outside while she finished up and we got some great moments. In fact, after she saw the photos, Natasha said she LOVED seeing what was happening while she was sequestered in her room upstairs. Her father and her stepfather spent some time tuning their guitars because both were going to be playing music during the ceremony. There was also some stoking of the fire so that the guests could gather around it and stay warm! All the ingredients for hot toddies were out on a table so the guests could enjoy a hot beverage before, during, and after the ceremony. They really thought of everything!

The ceremony was so heartfelt and Paul & Natasha really involved their families. Paul’s dad was the officiant. Natasha’s sister sang. Paul’s sisters did the readings. And everyone in attendance occupies a special place in this couple’s hearts, which is why we photographed Natasha & Paul with everyone there! Natasha’s uncle, who lived in Key West, wasn’t able to travel up for the wedding, but he sent some lawn flamingoes in his place. We made sure to incorporate them into some portraits. And we can’t forget their pup Kaden! He had joined us in their engagement photos, so it came as no surprise that he was front and center on their wedding day!

After some amazing portraits in some AMAZING buttery golden winter light, everyone headed over to 7 Central for drinks, chowdah, and some dinner. The dads gave some really sweet and funny speeches to cap off an amazing day.  For me, it was truly an honor to be a part of such a joyful and loving and intimate celebration.
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Duxbury Bay Maritime School Wedding, a note: I Put Down In Words

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“Dear Meg-
Thank you so much for all your help through the wedding planning and for taking the best pictures ever! From the engagement shoot until the last pic of the evening, I was so impressed! All my friends and family think they belong in a magazine! Thank you for giving us the best gift that we will always cherish!”

Notes like this make my heart sing.

Lyman Estate Maternity Session: Your Old Man Is Snoring

Katy and Chris chose not to find out if they were having a boy or a girl, so the fact that they wore combinations of pink and blue added a little extra {fun} layer to their maternity session! I absolutely adored Katy’s maternity dresses – she looks amazing, right? They decided on their session location because they fell in love with *my* maternity photos at the Lyman Estate. We explored some other options, but when you fall in love with a place, it’s hard to give it up! I photographed Katy & Chris’ wedding back in 2014, so it’s really exciting to be invited to photograph this next chapter in their lives. We got to spend the morning together, catching up and talking about baby registries. The Mr. & Little Mr. came along as assistants and we just explored the grounds and greenhouses. Everything changes seasonally, so you never know what you’re going to find! We had a gorgeous sunny morning so it was fun playing with the light and shadows. We also wanted to make sure Katy got some bare belly shots, so we finished up back at their place so I could grab those last few important photos. They also let me play with some colored light for a bit – can’t wait to find out if Baby Mac is a girl or a boy! Maternity portraits really capture such a fleeting time in your lives. You’re no longer just a couple because most of life revolves around that little bean already, but you’re not quite three people yet. These portraits honor not just how excited you are to be parents, but also who you are as a couple. I know from recent experience how uncomfortable you can be those last couple of months of pregnancy, but I would still encourage all moms-to-be to set aside some time for a portrait session!

*from one parrothead to another, I thought this was a great song reference and in no way references anyone’s actual snoring. 🙂

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Minute Man National Park Family Session: Be My Sweet Honey Bee

It’s not too early to start thinking about fall family portrait sessions! I photographed this adorable family last year at one of my favorite locations, Minute Man National Park, right on the Lexington/Lincoln border. The little guy was super-shy at first, but with a little patience and a lot of funny faces and silly noises, I won him over! Then there was no turning back – lots of smiles and hamming it up for the camera! His older sister was a pro straight from the beginning. We had a great time running around the park, stopping and taking photos along the way. Don’t forget to email meg@megbelanger.com or call to set up YOUR fall session! If you don’t have a location in mind, I’m more than happy to suggest one!

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Bruins-Themed Session in Lexington: Twenty Degrees and the Hockey Game's On

Great holiday photos don’t need fancy holiday clothes. I know, I know, it’s a little early to start talking about the holidays. But it’s NOT too early to start thinking about holiday photos. Sometimes the best outfits are the ones your kids are most comfortable in. For these two Bruins-loving hockey-playing girls, team outfits made the cut. Decked out in Bruins jerseys and winter hats, they gave me their best smiles! Even Kate the dog smiled while she wore her Bruins jersey! The girls spent most of their session wearing dresses, but these were the best photos. The ones taken at the tail end of the session when they put on their team’s apparel. Even mom and dad thought so. These are the ones that ended up on the Christmas card. I love these images because I see the girls’ genuine smiles, their personalities, and I think their outfit choice is a good marker of who they were and what they liked that year. Plus, that buttery evening light is to die for!

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Winchester Baby Session: We Met in the Sunlight

After having three sons, mom wanted to make sure this little one got her share of photo opportunities! Oh my goodness, what an angel! Her eyes are like Betty Boop eyes to me – just so big and wide and beautiful!
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Minute Man National Park Family Session: Nights Are Warm & the Days Are Young

I photographed mom & dad’s wedding and once they added a baby to the bunch, we knew it was time for some more family photos! The holidays always inspire families to get some photos done and I just love the way these all turned out. We really wanted to focus on getting everyone together, as opposed to all sorts of little breakdowns, and I couldn’t have asked for a more photogenic or cooperative bunch!
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OceanCliff Winter Wedding Newport, Kristen & Nate: Life is Like a Song

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have a December wedding, and then have your wedding day weather be 60 degrees, then these are the photos for you! As you can imagine, we were all pleasantly surprised when we could take so many photos outside without worrying about frostbite!

Nate and Kristen are one of the best couples ever, so photographing their wedding (and all the emotions that went with it) was easy! Nate is the kind of guy who asked Kristen’s dad for his blessing before he actually proposed. Kristen is the kind of woman who accidentally discovered Nate was planning to propose, but still let it happen naturally. These two genuinely enjoy spending time together, which is always awesome to see. The beach is one of their favorite places to hang out, so Ocean Cliff in Newport made for a perfect venue! With the unseasonably warm weather, everyone got to enjoy the stunning views of Narragansett Bay. Everything was truly perfect.

Kristen and Nate both got ready on-site, but in different areas of the resort. My partner-in-crime, Allana, was on hand to photograph the groom as he prepped and I got to hang out with the bride and her girls. And possibly the cutest ring bearer ever. I mean, he was just to die for. One of the {many} things I loved about this wedding was the genuine emotion it evoked. I don’t want to name any names (all you need to do is look through the photos), but we definitely had some emotional men at this wedding. Seeing them react to seeing Kristen as a bride for the first time, and to seeing her walk down the aisle, well, it just took my breath away. Moments like that are why I do what I do (and why I often tear up doing it). And to all the people out there contemplating a First Look, and wondering if it will detract from seeing each other at the ceremony, I think this set of photos prove it doesn’t have to. There’s something different about seeing each other just to do photos, and maybe relax a little, and then seeing each other at the ceremony when you’re about to make the biggest commitment of your lives. It’s pretty amazing. And then after that, it’s time to celebrate. Which, may I say, Kristen and Nate know how to do in style. They had a giant bottle of Veuve Clicquot that was opened with a saber (and maybe helped along with some hands). The ever-flowing champagne remained one of the couples’ favorite memories of their wedding day. Along with the unplanned moments that stem from being surrounded by your closest family and friends. For example, Kristen’s sister’s dress broke early on in the day. Zipper just wouldn’t work. Instead of freaking out, the dress was safety-pinned and everyone had a great time. No one wasted any worry on it. And at the very end of the wedding, as Kristen and Nate danced their last dance, the remaining guests all swept in and enveloped them in a giant hug. It was a moment they’ll remember forever. You could not ask for a more perfect day.

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These are some of the team that helped make Kristen and Nate’s day perfect….

Venue (start to finish): OceanCliff, Newport

Hair & Make-Up: Wavelengths Salon

Wedding Dress: Estee Bridal Shop

Flowers: Toni Chandler Flowers & Events

Cake & Desserts: Amy’s Apples and Devilish Delights

DJ: Main Events Weddings, Bob Carpenter

North Shore Family Session: Play Me One More Song

Just catching up on blogging and I absolutely love photographing this family! At our very first session, they had only one daughter, and now they have two, both of whom are growing up so quickly! We spent a lovely (and chilly) afternoon by the beach. Despite the cold, these guys had no problem looking happy and relaxed. I love seeing families who genuinely enjoy hanging out together. And the beach they chose was awesome – I’m pretty sure it was up in Swampscott, but I could probably never find it again! I really and truly hope these photos have found a way to paper their walls at home – it doesn’t get much better than this!
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Santa Monica Beach Family Session: Totally Surrounded In Your Circles

Santa Monica is one of my favorite places in greater Los Angeles. When the Mr. and I lived there, he worked over on the 3rd Street Promenade, so we spent a lot of time hanging out in that area (although very rarely on the actual beach). In a lot of ways, Los Angeles is like New York City in that, if you live in one neighborhood, you only leave it when you absolutely have to. As east coast transplants, we really tried to explore as many neighborhoods as possible. Whenever I go back to visit, it’s pretty awesome to have a good reason to head over to the west side! Lucky for me, this mama also loves the west side! We’ve actually done a couple of really wonderful photo sessions on the beach! This one was no different. I love when sessions give me a chance to catch up with client-friends and their kids! This guy is one of my favorites – full of energy and love. I absolutely adore him, and every chance I have to photograph him.
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