The Anniversaries: Jocelyn + Harrison

 

I love shootings weddings and engagements. So much so that long ago I decided to specialize in them and not shoot anything else. As many of you know, last year I created a brand of glamour portraits to add my business, because I also have had a huge heart for women, and I now happily say that I specialize in photographing weddings and women. But I realized earlier this year, after celebrating my first anniversary, that my wedding brand was missing one huge area. The celebration of marriage. Not the celebration of getting married, which is definitely fun and exciting and beautiful, but the celebration of the beautiful thing that marriage is and can be. It’s more than two lives becoming one, but it’s about documenting how they are staying one. The rates of divorce in America are staggering with around 50% of couples divorcing before their 5th anniversary. Because marriage is not nearly the walk in the park and beauty and grace that a wedding day is. It’s so much deeper, so much more raw, so much more real. It takes a lot of hard work, and work that doesn’t come naturally for almost all people. And for that reason, I decided to launch Alicia Ann Anniversaries. While the details are still in the works of exactly what these sessions will entail, what I know is that I want to document couples that want to celebrate being married – whether they are blissfully married or really working through a very difficult time and want to reconnect with each other over a photo session.

Jocelyn and Harrison were the perfect couple to photograph as one of my first few Anniversary Sessions. I’ve known Jocelyn from the time she was 2 years old, I photographed their engagement and wedding, and I’ve watched their marriage grown and develop into something that is amazing and beautiful. They are an incredible example of what it means to love, honor and serve your spouse unconditionally. They don’t seek perfection in each other, but know that through their differences they have found their perfect match in one another. And three years after getting married, it is obvious that they are even more in love now than they were back when they were dating or newlyweds. Joc and Har love getting out of town and going into the city for dinner or to stay overnight, so we decided that the Big Apple was the perfect place for their Anniversary Session. We started on the stairs of the New York Public Library, a location I’ve wanted to shoot at for years, and it didn’t disappoint. After leaving the NYPL, we made our way to lower Manhattan to shoot on the Brooklyn Bridge right as the sun was setting and although it was about 30 degrees below zero and crazy windy, they were total champs and rocked those 10 minutes of chilly shooting.

 

 

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New york public library wedding, New york public library engagement session, NYPL engagement, Brooklyn bridge wedding, Brooklyn bridge engagement session, places to get engaged in NYC
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New york public library wedding, New york public library engagement session, NYPL engagement, Brooklyn bridge wedding, Brooklyn bridge engagement session, places to get engaged in NYC
New york public library wedding, New york public library engagement session, NYPL engagement, Brooklyn bridge wedding, Brooklyn bridge engagement session, places to get engaged in NYC
New york public library wedding, New york public library engagement session, NYPL engagement, Brooklyn bridge wedding, Brooklyn bridge engagement session, places to get engaged in NYC
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New york public library wedding, New york public library engagement session, NYPL engagement, Brooklyn bridge wedding, Brooklyn bridge engagement session, places to get engaged in NYC
New york public library wedding, New york public library engagement session, NYPL engagement, Brooklyn bridge wedding, Brooklyn bridge engagement session, places to get engaged in NYC

New york public library wedding, New york public library engagement session, NYPL engagement, Brooklyn bridge wedding, Brooklyn bridge engagement session, places to get engaged in NYC
New york public library wedding, New york public library engagement session, NYPL engagement, Brooklyn bridge wedding, Brooklyn bridge engagement session, places to get engaged in NYC
New york public library wedding, New york public library engagement session, NYPL engagement, Brooklyn bridge wedding, Brooklyn bridge engagement session, places to get engaged in NYC
New york public library wedding, New york public library engagement session, NYPL engagement, Brooklyn bridge wedding, Brooklyn bridge engagement session, places to get engaged in NYC
New york public library wedding, New york public library engagement session, NYPL engagement, Brooklyn bridge wedding, Brooklyn bridge engagement session, places to get engaged in NYC
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Wynona - December 15, 2014 - 1:06 pm

Absolutely gorgeous! :)

House to Home: Welcome to our new home!!

You guys, I can’t even express to you how excited I am about today’s blog post. I feel like I’ve been holding a million secrets with our decision to stay in CT, looking at homes, and ultimately purchasing this one. And even though we are nose deep in cardboard boxes, I wanted to spend a few minutes giving you a tour of the inside of our home. If I had my way, I would invite you all over right now to sip hot chocolate in front of the fire, to give you an in person tour….and obviously to have you help unpack and paint.;)But alas, since we live in a world where I am hundreds of miles away from many of you, a virtual tour will have to do.

 

This house is, honestly, just a house. Just a building with some walls. Just a structure on a piece of land. It means nothing in light of eternity but, for me, it represents so much of God’s faithfulness here on earth. I know. I just got wayyyy deep  after talking about sipping hot chocolate two seconds ago. But I feel like this has to be said. Because Adam and I are not people who live in excess. We are not about status or money.  We try to live as simply as possible and to spend our time, money, and efforts on the things that matter. For me, though, one of those ways has always been through hospitality. I’ve taken a lot of “gifts” tests throughout my life, because I’m kinda addicted to quizzes of those sorts…and on any of the ones that “hospitality” was an option, that was always my top “gift”.  So when looking for a house, regardless of the size, one of my top priorities was a home set up to have people over. I envisioned myself cooking and baking while chatting with friends,  dinners around a beautiful farmhouse table, and heartfelt and life giving conversations in the living room. Preferably around a fireplace. When we walked into this house the first time, my heart soared. It was perfectly designed for our needs. A bit (ok, a LOT) bigger than we were looking for, but there was a purpose for every room, so it didn’t feel like excess. I could ramble on and on about every detail about this house, but I think I’ll save the details for future posts as we go room by room and make it our own. So….

 

Welcome to our house. That I am very soon going to turn into a home.  (disclaimer: I realized how bad I am at real estate photography while editing these. I’ll try to be better when I take the “after” shots)

 

This is the view from the road, and the picture you saw last week…so moving on…;)

This is the view from the back corner of our property. The original home was built in 1930 and offers all the charm that an old home has – natural wood floors, a brick chimney, crown moulding, and little unique features throughout. The previous owners built an addition on 6 years ago (pictured here) and when they did so, they updated a lot of the old vitals in original home. Adam and I love the character of old homes but all the ones we looked at needed a TON of expensive work (windows, furnace, etc). With this house we got all the old charm but with very little of the updating that we would’ve had to do to any of the other homes we looked at.

This place, though. My absolute favorite room in the house. Anyone who knows me well knows that there are few things I enjoy in life as much as cooking and baking. And this kitchen is a dream for anyone who loves doing those things.  It even has a wine cooler in the island!

Another view of the stove, as well as a shot of our pantry. We were so happy the previous owners left these racks, because we love them!

This is the “great room”, or what will be our living room and it is attached to the kitchen, so it all flows openly. The doorway to the right is our dining room…

This was the first room to get painted.;)We love the built-ins in this room and have some fun plans for updating this room to make it more our style.

This is our beautiful laundry room. It will also double as a “command center” and be my office + contain all of our printers and geeky stuff.

This is the room I will use as my Alicia Ann Couture studio. And all the photographers said AMEN to that light, right??? The backdrops will be set up on the wall opposite those three windows

Another view of the studio, as well as a glimpse into the client meeting area directly to the left.

This is the room where I will hold all client meetings, as well as the makeovers for the Alicia Ann Couture brand. It was the living room int he old section of the house, before the previous owners built the addition on. We intend on adding french doors to the dining room to make my studio and work area a bit more private from the rest of our living area.

These are the bathrooms, obviously.:)The left one is downstairs, right off the studio room, and the right one is the upstairs bathroom. There is also a little half bath that is totally decked out in pink and black tiles, 1970′s style, but I didn’t take a picture of that.

This is the foyer and entryway that clients will enter the house through. It’s separate from our entrance, which is fantastic.

Upstairs bedroom #1 that we intend to rent out. But not before removing those curtains.

The is part one of our bedroom and will be turned into a walk-in closet/sitting area. Eventually we may make a full master suite together with the bedroom immediately to the left, but that won’t be for a while.

Our bedroom

Another view of our bedroom:)

This is actually my favorite bedroom in the house but, unfortunately, our bed doesn’t fit in there because of how all the doors are placed. Otherwise we would’ve totally used this room as the master. Why is it my favorite bedroom? Because of this….

One of the doors pictured in the bedroom opens up to this walk up attic that I totally fell in love with when we first saw the house. It is currently not insulated so we definitely will need to do that at some point but I have dreams of turning this into a craft room or movie loft, complete with bean bags and a projector.

So, that’s our new house. Already in the 5 days we’ve been here we’ve drastically changed 3 of the rooms. We didn’t have much of a window because I have a shoot in the studio today and client meetings + shoots this weekend….so we got right to work as soon as we moved in:)

Kris Rae - November 26, 2014 - 1:16 pm

Very Cool Alicia! Can’t wait to see it furnished. So glad you’re going to call Middletown home!

Amanda - November 26, 2014 - 10:04 am

Congratulations Alicia! The house is beautiful. I can’t wait to see the transformation to your home! It is sure to be perfect. Enjoy :)

Catherine Cella - November 26, 2014 - 9:55 am

Absolutely beautiful! Everything for a dream home and studio. Wishing you both many years of happiness together as you fill your walls and home with love. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving! Would love to take a tour some day.

Tiffany Farley - November 26, 2014 - 9:34 am

So so beautiful! Can’t wait to see it in person!!!

Katelyn James - November 26, 2014 - 8:51 am

LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s so gorgeous!!!!!!

Meet Grace + Joe

Beauty exists all around us. But there is something to be said about a woman who so effortlessly captures it’s very essence simply through the way she lives. It’s abundant. That is what he thought about this woman. She changed the atmosphere of the room simply with her smile. The breath rushes from his lungs at the sight of her. When you find that woman, you have the unique privilege of experiencing life with her. He knew that he, somehow, had found her and wanted to spend the rest of his life learning how to breath again.

Anniversary sessions: Megan + Jason

For quite some time now I’ve been thinking abut the celebration of love and marriage, and how I firmly believe that every couple should be photographed at least once a year. There’s something about going back through time and having an image instantly bring you back to that place in time – the trials and the triumphs, the joys and the sorrows. When I look at snapshots that Adam and I have taken together over the last 5+ years I am instantly brought back to how how I felt at that time in our lives and what life was like then. And for this reason, I am now introducing Anniversary sessions for all of our past clients, as well as couples who maybe never had the chance to be photographed together after their wedding. There’s something so much deeper about being photographed after you are married. After the honeymoon phase is over and life settles in, I think it’s so important to take time for each other and to remind yourselves why you married that person in the first place. And beside, when was the last time you saw your husband in a tux or your wife in a gorgeous dress? It’s an opportunity to celebration your love, your life, and all the things in life that make your marriage what it is.

Megan and Jason were the first of my anniversary sessions  and we did theirs right around their 1st anniversary. It’s always a pleasure to reunite with clients after their wedding, but these two especially are some of my favorites.:)

To help get the word out we are offering the first 5 couples an anniversary sessions for $500, including the high res images backed up in an online gallery for 10 years. After those first 5 sell, the price will be raised to $750. If you are interested in celebrating your love and your marriage with a  special photo session contact me today at info@aliciaannphotographers.com

 

 

 

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Heidi - November 19, 2014 - 2:10 pm

Gorgeous as always! Love this idea!

House to Home: We bought a house!

If any of you have been following me on social media or on this blog for any length of time, you know that for the last 2 years Adam and I have been going back and forth between Connecticut and Colorado. He owned a house in Colorado Springs and we had the apartment here in CT and in between weddings, we would spend our days remodeling our CO home. We listed it this summer to sell and closed on it a few weeks ago. All along the plan has been to move to Colorado. In fact, on our very first date Adam told me that was his plan and if I wasn’t willing to eventually move there, we wouldn’t be having a second date. He was pretty cute and had a great smile, so I figured “What the heck? I can totally move out west!”  And thus began the multi-year journey of trying to make our way out there. As glamorous as it may have looked on the outside, spending 2-3 weeks in CT and then 2-3 weeks in CO and constantly sitting on airplanes and in airports was beginning to take a toll on us. Simply put, we were exhausted. At some point the beginning of this year we both agreed that by December 31 we needed to have a decision made on where we were going to live and settle in for a while. We both planned on it being in Colorado, but we knew that in order for that to happen we both needed to make sure we had jobs out there. So Adam began applying to different companies and I set out to build my photography business out there. Try as we may, the cards were just not in our favor this time around and we both found ourselves getting frustrated. The life we wanted was in Colorado – the stunning mountains, fresh air, open spaces. But everything else was in Connecticut – family, our jobs, a church we loved, a lot of our friends. At some point in April I finally accepted that, as much as I had tried really hard, I was having a difficult time with the idea of moving to Colorado. I love it there, of that there is no question. But everything that is important in life to me is here in CT. But I promised Adam on that first date that I would follow him out west and I wanted to uphold that promise. I also knew that once we got there and settled in, I would make friends and it would become a second home to me. But, still, something inside me kept feeling like now was not the right time. Knowing this was Adam’s biggest dream, and one that I didn’t want to hold him back from or crush, I simply began praying. Praying that God would change my heart. Praying that God would change Adam’s if it was His will. Praying for peace. Praying for open doors and opportunities. And in doing that I found a new level of trust in God that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Something that I can’t quite put words on, except to say that there was an unmistakable and overwhelming assurance that God had it all under control.

At some point in July, right before we left for Europe, Adam said one night over dinner “What if we just stayed in Connecticut for another 5 or so years and worked our butts off at our jobs, saved, and then when we move out west we could have some more flexibility with jobs?”. It took all of me to not drop my jaw to the floor and say “Who are you and what have you done with my husband? Because my husband swore he would never stay in CT”. I smiled and told him that I would fully support that idea, but that HE needed to be the one to really believe in it because this was his dream that we were talking about putting on hold. Over the following weeks and months we began casually looking at houses in CT “just to see what’s out there” with no real intention of purchasing any time soon. After looking online we met with a realtor and began looking at some houses in person and were, generally speaking, underwhelmed by all of them. This one needed a new kitchen. That one had green carpets. The next one had no space for a studio. And the list continued on and on with each house we saw. At one point in our online browsing, Adam pulled up a listing for a home and said “Look at this one. It’s under contract, but imagine if this were available”. I didn’t pay much attention to it because it was under deposit, but he brought that house up a couple more times over the next few weeks. At one point we even drove by it just because he wanted to see it in person. We liked it but, again, didn’t pay much thought to it because it was under contract already. As fate would have it, the weeks carried on and we began looking a little more seriously at homes in all different parts of CT, and after the Colorado house had sold, Adam pulled up Zillow and saw that the home he had his eye on all along had come back on the market. We were both skeptical as to why it would have fallen through after being under contract three times, but we asked our realtor to go see it. Two days later we walked into the house and, almost immediately, we were blown away. Around every corner was one more thing on our   “must have” or “really want” lists. Hardwood floors throughout. Stunning natural light. Open floor plan. INCREDIBLE kitchen. Separate entrance for a studio. One by one we mentally checked off the items that every other home we looked at only had a few of. We left the house one sunny Sunday afternoon and had nothing but good things to say about the house. The only downside, if you can even consider a downside, was that it was much bigger than the other homes we were looking at….but strangely it was priced within our range and needed almost no work, whereas ALL of the other homes would’ve needed significant work. We chewed on it for a day and asked our realtor to go back again to see it. As I said to Adam a few weeks later, on our first walkthrough my heart said “Yes!” (happens often), but on our second walkthrough my brain said “You’d be foolish not to”. The catch was that we had 72 hours to make a decision, otherwise the sellers had renters flying up to rent it starting that same weekend. As I mentioned before, we didn’t intend on purchasing this soon at all, so making a decision this big in 72 hours was no small feat. I spent the next two days on the phone with people who have lived in that town, trying to get a feel of what it was like living there. I spent hours upon hours scouring the internet on school ratings and crime rates. I wanted to be able to present Adam with as much info as we both would need in order to make a wise decision. Ultimately, we both decided that proceeding with an offer was what seemed to be the right decision for us. Within hours our offer was accepted and we were soon under contract! Since then it has been a whirlwind of events – tellings our parents that we are staying in CT (we had kept it secret until then, just in case the plan changed again), having all of our stuff shipped from CO to CT, allllll the paperwork that comes with purchasing a home, and trying our best to maintain an excellent level of customer service with our clients during what is the busiest time of year for us. We are more exhausted now than we were going back and forth to Colorado, but the difference this time is that we are SO EXCITED about moving into this home and finally settling into life for the first time since we’ve known each other. I could keep rambling on, but then I wouldn’t have any information left to tell you when I give you a full tour of our new home. So, for now, until we actually close on the house and begin moving in, I will leave you with an image of the outside of our new home. As I write this post and show you this image I am so overwhelmed with gratitude. Never in my life did I think I would live in a house this beautiful or so perfectly suited for us. It’s a dream house. The outside may not seem like anything special but, to us, it’s perfect. And the inside is to die for. But you’ll have to wait a couple weeks for the grand tour.

Andrea Burgess - November 14, 2014 - 1:57 pm

How does that not look like anything special you crazy lady!! It looks amazing!!!! So excited for you and Adam to settle and enjoy life together. You’ve more than earned it. :) :)

Beth Daane - November 14, 2014 - 12:35 pm

Congratulations to you and Adam, my dear friend! I am so excited to see what God is doing in your life. I have my own reasons why I think you need a house this big… let’s just say that your Hub’s wouldn’t approve of my thoughts! ;) Love to you both and congrats!!!