Jenifer | Maine Maternity and Newborn Photographer

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Jenifer | Maine Maternity and Newborn Photographer

Sometime the stars align and perfection happens… <3 The light, the weather, this girl and her looks. This session felt SO good. It’s hard to believe that Jenifer was only a short couple of weeks away from delivering her sweet baby girl, Keira.

This gallery gives me such happy, positive vibes and I had to share it with you all. Do you have a favorite image from Jenifer’s gallery? Drop me a comment below!

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Baby Koa | Maine Newborn Photographer

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Baby Koa | Maine Newborn Photographer

Koa was as sweet as they come. He hardly made a peep during his entire three hours here in my studio, and slept like a champ as I posed him. He had the most perfect, pouty lips and looked amazing on every color backdrop I used with him. It was the epitome of a dream session! These are just a “few” of my favorites:

2019 has brought me some pretty fabulous babies so far and I can’t wait to meet the rest that this year will bring, including our own! I’m currently due in just 3 weeks so be prepared to be swamped with a ton of photos of our own little squishy babe soon! ;-) Until next time.

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The K Family | Maine Newborn Photographer

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The K Family | Maine Newborn Photographer

Lifestyle newborn sessions are such a beautiful change of pace for me here at JRP! Newborns and babies make up the majority of my business, but it's not very often I get the request of an in-home lifestyle session as opposed to a studio session, but I'm truly hoping to book more of them this year. The K family's home was so bright and airy and made for such a warm, cozy spot for their photos today. This sweet girl is a real-life doll!!

I’m so looking forward to photographing more of these intimate sessions. Huge thank you to the K family for warmly inviting me into their home<3

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Baby Lily | Maine Newborn Photographer

It’s been a loooong winter, at least it feels like that for me here! The cold has been relentless, the snowstorms just keep coming, and due to being almost 9 months pregnant, I’ve been even more tired and drained this season than in the past. My soul is longing for some sunshine and warmer weather, and I know I’m not the only one feeling that way lately.

Luckily Miss Lily was a breath of fresh air for her studio newborn session. I first met her mom and dad this past December to photographer their maternity session (absolute killer session thanks to mom’s awesome red dress and hair and makeup!) and it’s always so nice to have clients back in front of my camera for a second or third time. It feels like reuniting with old friends, and these guys were so much fun to photograph for their maternity session that it was nothing but good vibes in the studio the morning I got to meet Lily!

She fought sleep at first, but once she gave in to the warmth and white noise in the studio, she was out like a light. Her session was so refreshing after having a stretch of some pretty stubborn babies, and she let me try some new props and techniques while I worked with her.

I always get a bit sad when I send off a final gallery to a family because I don’t always know when I’ll be lucky enough to see them back and it’s such a privilege to be apart of such an intimate and amazing, life-altering journey these parents-to-be are on. It’s nearly impossible to not grow even slightly attached to these families, especially when their kid is this cute.

I’m hoping I get to work with these three again in the future and wish them nothing but the best of course! But to be honest, I think they’re already killin’ it at this parenting thing.

Check out how sweet Lily is!

Until next time!

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Baby Bay | Maine Newborn Photographer

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Baby Bay | Maine Newborn Photographer

Sweet little Bay finally made her way into my studio a few weeks ago. I had previously photographed her Fresh 48 session in the hospital about a month ago and it always amazes me just how much newborns change within those first few weeks of life. Even between meeting her in her hospital room to the time she came for her studio session, she looked so much different!

I had such a great time with these images; I’ve been investing a lot of time and money lately into learning new techniques to add to my newborn photography and it’s been a lot of fun to put these newly learned skills to use.

I can’t wait to see Bay back with her parents in just a couple of months for a spring apple blossom sessions!

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Baby E | Maine Newborn Photographer

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Baby E | Maine Newborn Photographer

Baby E was my first official newborn session of 2019, and she did not disappoint in the least! She truly put me on the right track for this year’s newborn sessions and I’m so grateful for how good she was for me. I got to experiment with a lot of new techniques and props, and I always leave a session feeling inspired when I can switch things up and get a little extra creative when photographing a session. I sincerely hope to see her sweet cheeks back in my studio soon! <3 <3

Just look her sweet little rolls and head full of hair!

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The Best of 2018 | Jessica Rae, Maine Portrait Photographer

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The Best of 2018 | Jessica Rae, Maine Portrait Photographer

As 2018 came to an end and we rounded the corner into 2019, I took some time off to refuel and recharge. 2018 has been a year of growth, change, and new beginnings for me both personally and professionally. After the hectic holiday season, it all came to a whirlwind of an end, and I found myself needing some serious off-time to reflect, center myself and get back to basics.

At the end of each year I like to go back and look through the sessions I’ve completed. It’s rewarding and assuring to see my work improve over time, and it’s interesting to see how my style and approach may change with the seasons.

The images I’ve chosen to include in this post are not necessarily ones that are technically my best work in terms of lighting, composition, etc. But instead, these images are ones that provoke some real emotion within me, which is something I set out to accomplish more of in 2018. Over the years I’ve slowly drifted away from the overly posed, cookie-cutter images where the subjects are simply standing there and smiling at the camera, and I have naturally gravitated more towards images that show a subjects’ true emotion or making a connection. Now, it’s not that I feel that those cookie-cutter smiling images are bad or wrong, but they don’t “do” as much for me as an artist compared to images that make me FEEL something. I may feel connected to a particular image because of a genuine laugh or smile, a silly expression, a sense of wonder shown on a child’s face, or because I nailed the lighting on an image and I personally felt excited and accomplished in doing so.

When selecting some of these images I struggled with figuring out exactly why I loved them so much; I could acknowledge that yes, the lighting looks great, or overall it was just a beautiful image to look at. But after some thought I found that I loved the image because of a deeper meaning. Some of these photos were taken when I was at a point in my life where I was making big changes and exciting things were happening and I was at a very high point. With others I could think back and hear the song the couple was dancing to at their wedding when I took the image, and could remember the emotion I felt watching this beautiful moment unfold in front of me. But in the end it all came down to authentic and raw emotion. That’s the shit that makes me feel alive inside!

I express it so often, but I truly live a very blessed life; Part of me is afraid that if I say that too many times then it will lose it’s meaning, but it’s just so damn true. I get to witness some beautiful, life-changing moments for a living. People willingly invite me into their lives to document some of the most intimate and vulnerable times of their entire lives. They invest their hard-earned trust and money into me to accurately and beautifully document one of the most pivotal moments in their entire existence. I sit here and struggle to put into words just how much that blows my mind. And I can’t help but sit here and chuckle to myself when I’m reminded that these same people thank ME for what I do, when in reality I owe them all the thanks in the universe. By believing in me, you all have given me such an incredible and meaningful life.

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In 2018 I photographed a total of 179 separate portrait sessions, 14 weddings, and 11 personal projects. Within those portrait sessions I completed 34 newborn sessions, 28 maternity sessions, 57 family sessions, 13 couple’s sessions, 7 boudoir sessions, 5 Fresh 48 sessions, and 5 seniors. I had to double check those numbers. Twice.

In 2018 I traveled 7,288 miles to and from sessions and weddings, and witnessed some of Maine’s most breathtaking places.

I quadrupled my total income from last year, when my ‘realistic’ goal was only to double it.

I excitedly and fearfully opened a new studio in January 2018, only to need to move and upgrade to an even bigger space 8 months later.

I invested time and money into continuing my education and improving my skill set which proved to be the best thing I could have done for my business at the time.

I met countless beautiful, kind humans that have become such an impactful part of my life whether they realize it or not. I have formed so many new friendships with clients and other industry professionals.

To put it simply, I far exceeded my expectations of 2018. For that I owe a very big thank-you to all of my clients that have trusted me to be a part of their lives this year, and to all of my loyal and faithful fans that never shy with their support. It does not go unnoticed and I’m so humbled and grateful that words could never express the exact magnitude of it.

THANK YOU! And let’s kick some more ass together in 2019!

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Bekka + Tyler | Maine Engagement Photographer

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Bekka + Tyler | Maine Engagement Photographer

Several weeks ago I booked Bekka + Tyler’s August 2019 wedding and got them in for their engagement session shortly after. We wanted to make sure we got some of the fall foliage that was just beginning to pass and we got lucky with a pretty warm day for being fall in Maine. I’ve always loved using this little roadside location in the fall; The leaves are changing in the tree line, the long grass is beginning to turn that beautiful tone of gold, and the milkweed starts to bloom and creates a soft, dreamy background when the sun sets behind it.

These two were so natural in front of the camera. I would give them just a bit of direction and they would run with it, and so much natural emotion comes through in their images. Both are them are incredibly photogenic and I’m in love with Bekka’s choice of outfit; it gives me all the cozy fall feels! I can’t wait for the amazing things to come on their big day next year!

Here is just a handful of my favorites from their session <3

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Vanessa + Josh | 8.25.2018 | Maine Wedding Photographer

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Vanessa + Josh | 8.25.2018 | Maine Wedding Photographer

Vanessa and Josh finally tied the knot this past Saturday on their property in Sidney. It was a gorgeous rustic wedding complete with mason jars, babies breath, and their very own barn. How freaking stunning is Vanessa in that dress!? Thank you both for choosing me as your photographer and I wish you two a lifetime of happiness!❤️ Here are just a few previews from their big day.

Photography by Jessica Rae Stetson of Jessica Rae, Maine Portrait Photographer and second shooter Benjamin Wheeler
Dress David's Bridal
Alterations Cozy Cottage Fabric's & Alteration's
Catering Just Got Smoked BBQ Catering
Floral The Robin's Nest
Hair & Makeup Couture Styles
DJ DJ Jolt

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Lorryn + Garrison | 8.18.18 | Maine Wedding Photographer

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Lorryn + Garrison | 8.18.18 | Maine Wedding Photographer

I photographed Lorryn and Garrison's wedding at Sites Farm in Athens last weekend on August 18th 2018. The day started off wet and rainy but ended with lots of sun and laughter. Thank you guys so much for having me as your photographer! Congrats to the happy couple, and enjoy your cruise! Here are a few previews from their big day.

 

 

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Barbora + Dean | 8.11.2018 | Maine Wedding Photographer

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Barbora + Dean | 8.11.2018 | Maine Wedding Photographer

I had the honor yesterday of photographing Barbora and Dean's wedding on a family's property in Roxbury, Maine. From the first time I met up with Barb and Dean at a little coffee shop a few months ago, I just had the feeling that this wedding was going to be one for the books. They had such a calming yet vibrant vibe; they sort of radiated off of one another when they were together. You could really tell they love and cherished one another with the way they spoke about each other and the smiles they shot each other in between chatting. 

 

From the moment I arrived to their location yesterday until the moment I left to head home, I felt so incredibly welcomed by everyone. The love and excitement in the air was contagious, and though many of their guests did not speak English, it didn't hinder the communal understanding of why we were there celebrating, and ultimately the language of love and friendship brought all together.

 

I want to say a huge thank-you to Barbora and Dean, and all of their friends and family who I was able to meet yesterday. You have entrusted me with the responsibility of documenting the amazing and beautiful day that was your wedding, and for that I am forever grateful. You two deserve the universe, and I wish you nothing but the best❤️

 

Here are just a few previews from their wedding!

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COMING SOON! Fall Mini Sessions

COMING SOON! Fall Mini Sessions

October 20th - 21st!

DON'T shoot the messenger, but fall is on it's way, ya'll!🎃

🍁I LOVE fall. Everything about it makes my heart get all giddy. The cooler weather and the crisp fall breeze, cozy nights in with your family, pumpkin EVERYTHING, crockpot meals and football nights, hoodies, boots... UGH!❤️ I'm so ready!

🍂You know what else I'm excited/ready/dying for? Fall minis! Our annual event is coming up in just a couple of short months. Last year we had an OUTSTANDING amount of bookings that we had to add a second day and sold out within 36 hours!!!

🍁Call me crazy, but I can’t help but feel like this year’s is going to blow last year’s right out of the water. If you're dying for some cozy, genuine, joyful family portraits to hang on those walls of yours; look no more❤️

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Lauren | Maine Boudoir Photographer

Two days after I purchased my studio space back in January, I put out a model call for a boudoir session so I could play around with my new space. I've always loved a very simplistic and minimalistic style to boudoir, so I went out and purchased a new airbed, a bedspread, and some white sheer curtains. Voila; I have a makeshift boudoir studio 2 days after getting my new spot! I've certainly improved since, but these will always hold a special place in my heart for being one of my first in my now very FULL studio! <3

 

 

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Baby Mason | Maine Newborn Photographer

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Baby Mason | Maine Newborn Photographer

From the time I had worked with Kim and Bryan for their maternity session this past summer, I knew that they were going to be the best of parents. And upon arrival to my studio for their newborn portrait session it was very evident of just how loved baby Mason truly was.  I am so blessed to have this family as clients of mine. I can only hope to see them back again soon <3

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Finding Inspiration | Maine Portrait Photographer

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Finding Inspiration | Maine Portrait Photographer

Confession time...I've been in a funk.

Or at least that's what I've been calling it in my own mind. I know I'm not alone; I know others have been in this same slump I've found myself in. Especially those who create art or content, or make a living as a creative.

I think as an artist I often struggle with feeling inadequate. I've surrounded myself with things and people that I've intended to help inspire me, only to find that it's all left me feeling like less in the end.

And you know what? I *know* I'm not "less;" but sometimes I simply can't help but feel that way. It's not those "things" and people at fault for making me feel this way instead of being inspired, that's all on me. It's up to me to keep my mind open and heart full, no one else.

Sometimes I sit here and I stare at an image that I already carefully selected and have shared online, but most times, I'll admit, that I'm not staring out of admiration. I'm staring at all of the things I could have and should have done differently.

"I should have feathered my light a little more."
"I should have had her rest her hand there instead of where it is now."
"I should have used a lower aperture in this shot."
"I should have spent 5 more minutes making sure Baby's fingers were straight under her chin."
"I should have used my 85mm for this shot."

I should have. I should have. I should have.

But I didn't. And I can't change those things in the images I've already taken and delivered.

But you know what I can do? Instead of interpreting all of those "should-haves" as weaknesses, I can start seeing them as strengths.

Strengths, because I have the power to take those mistakes and turn them into improvements. Next time I'm going to lower my f-stop to make sure that bokeh is spot on. I'm going to make sure those fingers are as straight as can be. I'm going to be sure that my light is right where it needs to be.

Instead of feeling such a lack of inspiration and "in a funk" because I've failed to find it in the things around me, I'm opening my eyes to see that I truly can be my own inspiration simply by recognizing what I have the power to do going forward. And don't get me wrong, a lot of my daily inspiration and drive lies within my children, my husband, my family and friends, but sometimes you need to find a new spark to ignite the fire within you again.

I sometimes forget that this hobby-turned-career of mine should not be taken for granted. This is a gift that I've been given to change lives with. You know, to some people, this camera in my hands is just that, a camera. But to me and to some, this camera is a life-changer and a memory-maker; It's a time-freezer, and a tear-jerker. It's a straight up super power. And I think I'm just now realizing as I write this... That I had actually forgotten just how much of an impact I can truly make on people's lives with this gift I've been given, including my own.

I've come so far, I just need to open my eyes.

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Kim + Bryan | Maine Maternity Photographer

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Kim + Bryan | Maine Maternity Photographer

Kim and Bryan's maternity session on the coast was a breath of fresh air. After being cooped up all winter, we finally had a break of warm, spring air and we fully embraced it on this day. That sunset couldn't be anymore perfect, and neither could Kim!

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Rachel, Silvanus + Maya | Feature Friday | Maine Family Photographer

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Rachel, Silvanus + Maya | Feature Friday | Maine Family Photographer

Today's Feature Friday goes out to these cuties. You may have recognized them from previous blog posts or from my Facebook fan page. Since June of 2017 I have photographed them on three different occasions and each time they got more and more fun. 

I love all of my clients, and I like to think I'm the type of person who gets along with everyone. I'm a people person and I like to make people laugh and feel comfortable, and it's pretty typical of meeting clients for a session for the first time that it takes everyone to warm up to each other and feel each other out. But from one of the first times I conversed with Rachel to book her session I knew these guys were "my kind of people." When we met up in June for their first ever family session it was an instant connection!

Since then, I'd like to say we've become friends and follow each other on Facebook, which I LOVE because I get to watch Maya grow and watch the hilarious videos that Silvanus and Rachel post of her. They've had some very exciting things happen in the past year like an engagement and building a brand new home, and I love watching them grow as a family knowing that I've been a small part in creating some of these memories for them.  

I can also safely say that they are hands-down some of my biggest supporters out there. They are always sharing my work, constantly spreading the good word about me and my business, 'liking' all of my posts and commenting kind words. During the holidays I received not only the most beautiful Christmas card with my images on it, but the sweetest heartfelt hand-written note, as well as a gift from them. (I may or may not have cried for 4 whole minutes.) It might not sound like a lot to some, but to me it is everything, and it's honestly the littlest gestures that really make the biggest difference. Not just for helping me bring in business, because yes that is what it comes down to in the end, but it's just knowing that I have real people out in the world that truly support me that keeps the momentum inside of my sometimes-tired heart and soul going. 

So a huge, honest, and heartfelt thank-you goes out to Silvanus, Rachel and Maya. I appreciate all of what you guys do for me and for your constant support of my dreams. I am always looking forward to the next time I get to photograph your beautiful family, especially now in such an exciting season of your lives. <3

 

Rachel's kind words:

"When my fiancé and I had our daughter we knew we needed to find the perfect photographer, capturing memories is something extremely important to us. So we went on a serious search, asking friends, looking at crazy amounts of websites and facebook pages, and looking at reviews we stumbled upon Jessica Rae Photography. As soon as I saw a couple of her photos I was 100% sure that we found the one. We’ve had three shoots with Jess, and every time she was so down to earth and completely went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable with everything, picked the most gorgeous locations, and delivered photos that we will treasure forever. When you choose Jessica Rae Photography you’re making a decision to own the most gorgeous well timed photos of your family that you’ll ever see. We are so grateful to have found a lifetime friend, and photographer for our family in Jess."

 

Here are some of my favorite images I've been able to photograph of these three in chronological order:

What a bunch of damn cuties. Until next time <3

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Annie + Barrett | Maine Couple's Photographer

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Annie + Barrett | Maine Couple's Photographer

I'm a firm believer that fate brings certain people into your life for a reason. At first it may not always be clear as to why, but eventually, in one split second it clicks, and deep down you just know why they've been placed there.

I believe that Annie was brought into my life for a lot of different reasons,   and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet her this past fall. Last year Annie had been dealing with some health issues and was later diagnosed with cancer, a synovial sarcoma in her left foot. She began posting updates on Facebook, and through her boyfriend Barrett I was able to follow her journey. 

I went to school with Barrett, and though I hadn't spoken a word to him in who knows how long, I have always had so much respect for him. My fondest memories of Barrett are of him being so kind to everyone in school. In a place where I was often made fun of or laughed at because I was different, he was always someone that was incredibly genuine and respectful to me. And though he and I were never super close or anything, we shared many mutual friendships and I'll always remember Barrett as being an incredibly nice person. That sounds so cliche but when looking back at it, it's people like him that make you realize that there are good people in the world!

So when I started seeing Annie's posts it of course caught my attention. It's not very often that you see a woman her age diagnosed with cancer, and it especially catches your attention when she's the girlfriend of an old high school friend; it definitely tugged at the heart strings.

What stuck out so much about Annie is how optimistic she was, and remains to be. I think when most people hear the word "cancer" it's immediately a very negative and disheartening feeling, which it is rightfully so, but she very clearly took that diagnosis as a mountain to climb and overcome and it is so incredibly inspiring to me.

 

One afternoon Annie had reached out to me on my business page wanting to book a fall mini session for her and Barrett. She had absolutely no idea I knew exactly who she was but I had the instant desire to offer her and Barrett a private couple's session. Though I didn't know Annie personally, it really felt like I did  after following all of her updates and progress over the several months prior to her contacting me. Doing this just felt right.

To make a long story short, Annie loved the idea and we soon set a date for their session. It was a warm, bright, sunny day which perfectly mirrored her personality. It is simply impossible to not smile when you're in her presence, and when she and Barrett are side by side it's hard to deny just how great they are together.

Annie has had her share of ups and downs since our time together, and still posts her updates from time to time. I'm already looking forward to when I get to see her next;  this girl radiates positivity. She carries a light with her wherever she goes and I'm so happy to have found a friend in her. 

 

Annie and Barrett, thank you for being you. The love between you two is so very evident and you inspire those around you to be better people. Come see me soon, you lovebirds<3

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"Amidst what has been the hardest year of my life, I was lucky enough to cross paths with Jess. She is one of the most genuinely kind-hearted women I've ever met. I'd been following her photography page for a while and she had quickly become my favorite photographer in the area. I reached out to her regarding her "Fall Mini Sessions" and she, instead, offered to gift my boyfriend Barrett & I a full session, free of charge. Turns out, she knew Barrett from high school and had been following our story, and silently cheering us on, ever since she saw that I was diagnosed with cancer. I was and still am SO touched by all of the sweet things she had to say about both of us. I've said it before, but I'm going to keep saying it: she is the kind of light the world needs.

Jess is not only an amazing photographer, but person as well. You can tell she pours her heart & soul into her photography business and it shows through her photos. I was smiling and laughing our entire session- it was hard work to make a "serious" face because I was having such a great time. She had a plan when it came to the flow of the session so we got all of the shots we needed while the light was still perfect, while keeping time in mind. It helped because my boyfriend (along with most males) is not a huge "picture person" so he didn't feel like we were just standing there posing for hours. I have canvas prints of our pictures covering my room- obsessed is an understatement. I can't wait to book our next session!"

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Below are a few of my favorite images from Annie and Barrett's couple's session.

I hope you love them just as much as I do!