Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Newport Wedding

This recent wedding was unique in a lot of ways. First the families: the bride's family spoke French and the groom's family spoke Spanish. Then the bride and groom who are both in the service. Being ex-army myself, I have a soft spot for soldiers. It is so hard to balance being in the military and being in a family and my hat is off to the people who can make it work.

The ceremony took place at St. Mary's overlooking Lake Memphramagog.

I'm not usually a fan of white flowers...but I loved all the different shades of white in this bouquet. It looked very elegant against the white dress.

Then, we went over to the East Side...Deena always does such a great job with weddings and the East Side has is such a great setting for photos.

I could tell there was going to be a caking going on from Sarah's sly grin...and Juan got it right in the kisser.

I predict a "happily ever after" ending to this story. For more, go to Dona Davis.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wedding at the Alerin

I talk to people all the time who say "We are the funnest people. We are so fun and laid back,our wedding will just be a blast" Rarely is the actual wedding as low key as they predict...and it isn't their fault...lots of people are scared to death or so nervous they can hardly function. This last wedding at the Alerin was a big exception. It was one of those weddings that keep me going. It was one of those wedding that I can't wait to get home and edit the pictures and see them blown up big on my monitor. Fun was the name of the game!

The entire day was amazing after weeks of rain we had this one perfect, golden, breezy day. Close friends and family happily surrounded the couple and their adorable kids. My favorite venue, my favorite caterer (Sweet Basils) and even my neighbors were all on the team to make this wedding memorable and wonderful.

Here comes the bride...

And the groom can't take his eyes off of her...

The family makes their way down to the Alerin.

Have you ever seen so much air...and in a suit!?

The cake was cut with a sword that had been passed down through the groom's family and used to cut the cakes at every wedding going back generations.

There were serious and romantic moments...

And some not so serious moments!

And then there were sparks between them! For more images from this wedding visit donadavis.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Basin Harbor Club Vergennes Wedding

If I had to use one word to describe this bride and this wedding I would use the word "elegant"! Ivory dress, pearl jewelry and white flowers -- every shade of white from the tiny porcelain like flowers in her hair to the deep cream of the roses she carried were represented. She looked stunning! I couldn't help but compare her to Vermeer's "Girl with Pearl Earring" classic beauty.

I love this dress' train. It is in such great proportion to the dress.

The groom looked happy enough to burst. He pretty much smiled constantly (I take that as a very good sign).
Basin Harbour has great spots to shoot inside...which was wonderful since it rained all day! A large covered veranda runs all the way around the building, offering sheltering views of the lake and grounds. Inside there are staircases, a grand piano, fireplaces and many quiet nooks.

The swing is wonderful...I love seeing two people so crazy about each other.

We did spend some time being silly!

And took advantage of the beautiful player grand in the parlor.

Here is the wedding party on the Veranda. Love the colored Adirondack chairs...how very Vermont!

The Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes is a classic beauty as well with it's large veranda overlooking the harbor and stately trees. Boasting 125 years of existence...well, they know how to put on a party!
And then they danced!

And DANCED! The floor was over-flowing while the band, The Phil Abair Band, jammed! What a great band. Every member has a great voice so it's like having James Taylor, Smokey Robinson and Linda Ronstadt rolled into one rockin package. The jazzy dinner music and dance tunes made the party.

Be sure to visit donadavis.com for more images.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Getting Good Photos... what YOU can do.

Getting great wedding photos is sometimes completely accidental. I mean, most bride's and groom's don't really get to practice and most people don't really know what they can do to make sure their photos are great. In fact, I'm often surprised by the fact that many people think great photos they see are candids...just caught at some moment when everything was perfect. Those beautiful candids are mostly a combination of the photographer's know-how and directions given to the bride and groom. They are the most important photos you will have from your wedding--the ones you hang on the wall. They aren't accidental and here's what you can do:

First of all, make sure your dress is comfortable!!! I can't stress that one thing enough. If you are in pain it will show on your face. Make sure you can walk, sit down and move in your dress. So many wedding gowns are so restrictive that the bride can barely breathe. This insures that all your pictures will look the same. You will stand there like a pillar and we will change the people standing near you. No romantic seated embraces or twirling happy faced shots for the bride who is just getting through the day barely able to breathe. Don't just try on the dress at the dress shop and stand in front of a mirror...sit down, dance around, throw your hands in the air ...and if you pop out of the top or it feels like a straight-jacket, look for another dress! You will be so much happier and have so much more fun.

Do not tan right before your wedding!! Tanning can make you look like an oompah loompah on film and if the groom is ruddy and the bride is golden there is no adjustment that will help. If you must tan, do it a week or more before the wedding. Try a seaweed wrap or massage instead of tanning if you need to relax.

Men, don't get your haircut right before you get married. It's the one thing that can almost be counted on: the groom will get his hair cut the day of or before the wedding. A haircut needs a week to look it's best. Some short cuts actually make it look like your balding so no haircut less than a week before. Women, try out your hair and makeup before the wedding. Some hairstyles you see in a book may be disastrous on you! The only way to know is to try it out. Some truly lovely brides get hair styles that just don't go with their faces or bodies so get your hair done well before the wedding and try it out...twice if you don't like the first one. If you need to travel for your wedding, have your hair done at home until you love it and have someone take a picture of your hair for the stylist at the wedding location.

Makeup...those mineral makeups work very well for photos. They are light and natural looking and reflect a smooth surface back to the camera. For most people light lids and dark crease works the best for eye makeup. Don't let anyone do a dark lids on you--the corpse bride is the only person that works for. It makes the eyes look sunken -- most lighting will tend to do that anyway (deep shadows under the brow) and dark eyelid makeup will make it worse. On the other hand a fairly dramatic eyeliner will make your eye-lashes look lush.

Glasses...will sometimes reflect light and hide the eyes. Some people are uncomfortable seeing themselves without glasses but remember that these images are the kind that last...and probably will be cherished by your children and their children so take a couple without the glasses so people can really see your face. On the other hand, if you wear contacts, bring glasses to wear if your eyes get tired from wearing the contacts. Comfort is really important for having fun and looking your best so if you are not comfortable without your glasses, it will be fine, just wear them (and have fun)!

Finally, my personal favorite, take time...just a little more time with your photographer while everyone else is having a good time. Steal away for 20 minutes and allow yourselves to have pictures done while you are relaxed and having fun. I promise it will be worth it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Website and URL

I've just completed my new web site with a great deal of work from my husband, Val (who is a fantastic Web Designer). I also have a new URL : www.photographerinvermont.com as well as the old one donadavis.com. I hope it will make it easier for people to find me and also to find the information they need once they get there.

There are a couple of things about the new site that may not be self-explanatory. If your mouse rests on the large slide show that plays for the opening of each section (weddings, portraits and commercial) the show will pause until the mouse is removed. So, if you want to look at a particular image longer, you may.

I think it's a much easier to navigate site with the pull down menus . If any part of the site doesn't work on your particular browser I would appreciate your letting me know so I can fix it. If you want to return to the opening page with the wedding slide show you can click on my signature at the top of the page.

I've been finding typos as I check the site over and if you find any I would appreciate a "heads up".

I hope you will enjoy the new look and that you will let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inn at Mountain View Farm, East Burke

I was just going over my new portfolio order and marveling at all the pictures I have from certain venues. I was stunned at how many of my favorite wedding images are taken at the Inn at Mt. View Farm in East Burke.

Yes, it's in the neighborhood, so to speak but so are many other places I shoot regularly. The thing that makes Mt. View so special is that everywhere you look is a beautiful backdrop...from the room where the bride gets ready to the stately wrap-around porch, the many gardens, fields and barns. Even the swing out front is great for a photo-op.

This is a wedding that included the bride, groom, his best friend, her best friend and officiant and me. I could shoot freely without being in any of the guests way. Here they are going up the "aisle"

It doesn't get more ideal than this. One of my favorite shots EVER was from the garden area next to the big barn. It's another one of Mountain Views idyllic settings. We shot the formal hedges as an album end shot.

and serendipity happens most often in this kind of setting. The Inn has an animal rescue barn and one of their guests became a curious wedding guest.

Chris Willy catered most of the weddings I shot at the Inn at Mountain View Farm...that was before he opened his new sensational restaurant in East Burke (Willy's). If you can get him to cater your affair I suggest you do it while you can because, with food like Chris makes, he won't be available much.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Album Proof

My new coffee table style album has a proofing method a little different from what I usually do...I love it. Your book is presented through an interface that makes it seem like you are turning the pages on an actual book. Go here to see what I mean:


The other thing I really like about this book is that the cover is printed and each page goes all the way across without interruption...you won't find that in ANY book at this price. It also allows me to offer discounted copies in different sizes. Once the design work has been done, your family can benefit with copies or you can order a brag book for your purse and keep your big book home safe.

Things I don't like about this book...it's more delicate than any of my other books. My leather bound books have a tougher cover and don't get this book wet, the pages will stick together as I found out when I took it out into a torrential rain storm (it was in a zippered bag and a few drops fell and caused two sets of pages to stick and tear). That might happen with my basic book but the magnetic fold in the better book would stop water short.

The Graphis Studio book and traditional albums still do the best job at protecting your pictures but this book is fantastic for the price and just as good as books that cost four times as much.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away....or not.

This is a classic Vermont wedding problem. We have all this natural beauty and it naturally gives rise to thoughts of fall foliage weddings or spring gardens. Here is Jenn, moments before her wedding at the beautiful Alerin Barn looking out onto a torrential downpour! I know that rain is supposed to be good luck at a wedding but what do you do with all your careful plans?

There is actually a lot you can do. Sometimes the clouds lift and you are left with a wonderland of dew dropped flowers and spectacular skies and sometimes it just rains...all day.
That's when good planning pays off. Choose a venue with porches (like the one above) to get great pictures outside without getting all wet.

Umbrellas make it work too...I love umbrella shots. The Round Barn in Waitsfield has them at the ready for just such instances and they make for wonderfully fun and romantic pictures.

Of course, we don't even have to go outside for great pictures. Above is natural light from a window in Grace Church, St. Johnsbury. It can make pictures very dramatic--in fact there wasn't rain at this wedding but the bride wanted shots done inside the church.

This family came all the way from Florida for their Vermont wedding at Jay Peak...it's a good thing I pack studio lights to every wedding because it poured all day and there was almost no chance to get pictures outside. So never let rain dampen your spirits. The pictures will still be great, it will still be a blast (with all your friends, how can you miss) and fate owes you one...maybe you can use it on your honeymoon.