Viewing entries tagged
maine family photographer

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 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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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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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!

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Mr. + Mrs. Tierney | Maine Wedding Photographer

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Mr. + Mrs. Tierney | Maine Wedding Photographer

 

 

Florist: Broadturn Farm

Dress: Tadashi Shoji

Venue + Catering: Sebasco Harbor Resort

Cake: Chef Alyssa Lieberman of New City Microcreamery

Music: Bruce Marshall

Photography: Jessica + Shawn Stetson of Jessica Rae Photography

 

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The Rideout's Big Announcement | Maine Family Photographer

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The Rideout's Big Announcement | Maine Family Photographer

Back in 2013 I had the pleasure of first meeting Kara, Kenzie, and Kami when I photographed they're gorgeous country wedding. They're really the sweetest little bunch; I remember having such a blast just being in the company of their friends and family on their wedding day. Kara and I became friends on social media and stayed in touch here and there over the years and occasionally chatted online. 

So fast forward about 4 years later, and I receive a message from Kara wanting to book a surprise session for her and her husband Kenzie and daughter Kami. I wasn't quite sure at first what sort of surprise this would be, but she soon told me that she had just found out she was expecting again and wanted to make the announcement to Kenzie and Kami during the session! She asked if that was something I would like to do and I immediately jumped on it! Like, UM YES! HELLO, this is a photographer's dream session! <3

So, we set a date and began figuring out the details on how we would announce it. We came together to make a plan that would surely fool the two of them. And, (spoiler alert) it did!

We started off with shooting like any other family session, then told Kara we could break out the props she brought along with her which were 3 chalkboard signs. On them I asked that they each write what they are thankful for but to keep it a secret and not show anyone else, and then we would one-by-one reveal what they wrote.

 

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Eeeeeeek!<3

 

 

 

Kami went first:

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Then Kenzie went next:

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And then just before the big reveal when Kara showed hers:

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And when Kenzie and Kami turned around...

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Goosebumps and tears, ya'll! It meant so, so much to me to be able to be such a significant part of this event in their lives. I was the first person Kara told and literally no one else knew but the two of us before she announced it to her family. It sessions like these that make what I do SO incredibly special and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Thank you so much to the Rideout family for including me in two of the biggest, most important parts of your lives. I am so humbled you chose me to do this for you<3

 

Check out the rest of their gallery in sequential order below, you really don't want to miss the 'after' photos!

 

Until next time<3

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Townsend Sisters | Maine Family Photographer

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Townsend Sisters | Maine Family Photographer

Back in early August I was contacted by Evelyn who wanted to book a session for her and her three sisters before she headed back off to college. For a slight moment I was a bit hesitant solely because I hadn't photographed a group of teenage girls before, but it sounded like nothing but fun and I'm always up for something new!

Check out some of the images from their 'sister session' below!

 

 

Can't you just tell how much fun we had that night?! I'd hang out with these ladies any day :)

 

Until next time!

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Silvanus, Rachel + Maya | Maine Family Photographer

Silvanus, Rachel + Maya | Maine Family Photographer

Now that summer finally decided to join us here in Maine, I've felt myself yearning to find a field with long grass and a delicious sunset to photograph in. There's just something about the sunlight... When it begins to set and the light shoots through the trees in the distance, sending vibrant rays of sunshine to the ground. It glows on the tips of the tall grass, and when a cool breeze blows through, it's like complete and utter magic.

Now, imagine this scene and put a beautiful family smack dab in the middle of it.  If anyone asks, THAT is my happy place. And I have the photos to prove it!

 

Silvanus, Rachel, and Maya joined me at a sunny arboretum for their family session. Taking their photos was a photographer's dream; All you had to do was step back and just watch them together, and just that in itself made for the perfect family portrait. Their love for each other was so natural and unposed, and I barely made any directions for them the entire time we were together.

I'm extremely thrilled with the way their gallery turned out and I hope you'll enjoy it as well! Check out a handful of their images below.

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