What better post is there than a winter engagement session on a day we got a late-season snow storm ….  Looking out my window, I would guess there is about 18″ of the white stuff – BUT we haven’t lost power yet, which is a blessing, since the winds were whipping.  With all of this, I am reminded how much I loathe winter.  BUT, again – there’s always a but – I do love love love winter light!  And therefore, winter photo sessions!  There’s something so magical about the light, how it filters through the bare trees and plays around on the snow.  I really love for my clients to be comfortable and enjoy their experience, so I am completely understanding if a client passes due to the cold, but – AGAIN – I also love when a client trusts my abilities enough to suck it up and power through!  And besides, those blushed cheeks add a healthy glow, and you cannot help but snuggle into one another for warmth!

Kim and Scott (and Amos) were all in.  And what magic we encountered!  The light, the love, the fun with their sweet pup!  Swoon!

Originally, Kim and Scott had passed on the idea of an engagement shoot all together, but then, much to my delight, Kim contacted me and said she was really interested in giving it a try because they were both a little uneasy with the idea of being in front of the camera on their wedding day.   (Yes, please!)  This is thee perfect scenario for an engagement session!  Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it?  But really, it’s the best because why not get the jitters out of the way in advance, rather than on the action-packed wedding day.  Couples who partake in a low-key, interactive, casual engagement session, which is my style, totally overcome their apprehension and truly seem to enjoy their wedding photography more on the day of their celebration.  I nearly guarantee it!  I’ve seen couples start a session as stiff and cautious, BUT by the end, they were old pros – falling into one another naturally, snuggling and laying, almost giddy!  Ok, maybe that was me… Hahahaha!   After all, what’s more natural and effortless than just being you, when you let your guard down, when you genuinely enjoy yourself, when you enjoy one another.  Couples gain confidence, get ‘practice’ and most of all, have fun!

I loved my introduction to Kim and Scott.  And having Amos along only sweetened the magic of this delightful winter engagement session.  (And special thanks to Kim’s sister and MOH for coming along and handling Amos.  You know – VIPs always travel with an entourage.  Haha!)  Enjoy the visual goodness of this cold BUT warm and lovely winter engagement session!

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Here’s a look back at a recent studio newborn session from this season.  Sweet little Charlotte was almost a Christmas baby, but she popped a few days earlier.  My mother is a Christmas baby and she, like most others I know of (weirdly, I know a few), will tell you, it’s not as endearing as you may think.  Everyone lumps the two celebrations together, and you often feel shortchanged or overlooked with the hustle and bustle of the holiday, but Charlotte was cunning enough to come a little sooner and avoid that predicament, yet she can still capitalize on the excitement of the season.  Smart girl, Charlotte – smart girl.  :)

She was such a content little nugget – sleepy and quite agreeable to posing.  Her parents opted for a Baby-Only in-studio newborn session, and she as a perfect candidate for it.  She practically folded herself into those cute little poses, as if she enjoyed the snuggle.  And I had fun with the seasonal attire.  Her parents asked to represent the holiday season, since she graced their presence during this blessed time, and I said, “Yes, please!”  We kept it subtle, with a holiday themed headband and some red and green accents.  But I was so excited to use the cutest little eskimo bonnet.  She looked so stinking cute in it - I could barely stand it!  These cool images will be sure to warm your heart, so here’s a look back at Charlotte’s studio newborn session.  Here’s to many more happy holiday seasons for her and her family!

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Ok, so it’s about time – overdue, really – to post an update on the blog.  Here is one of the more recent studio newborn photography sessions I had the pleasure of capturing at the end of 2017 with sweet little Rexton Douglas and his family, including his older twin sisters.  Rexton slept like a champ, enjoying snuggles with mom and dad;  although big sisters, Madison and Samantha were a little less thrilled, for the time being, I’m sure.  Some bigs take a little time to adjust to the new littles in the family.  It can be overwhelming when this little nugget comes in to their space and has to share the spotlight.   We alway try to capture some sibling shots, but there is a lot of improvising that goes into it, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen.  But we managed to sneak a few family shots in, including one of the whole family, which just made Mama’s day!  One of my favorite elements that mom asked to incorporate was the authentic milk bottle that came directly from her family’s former diary farm.  And as if Rexton understood the importance of it, he cooperated ever so perfectly.

Thank you, S-Family, for sharing your little man with me, and congratulations.  Reston, you stay sweet and squishy for as long as you can because you are just simply adorable.

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Family photo with baby brother

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It’s never too late to say thank you, so here I go!  Thank-you, thank-you to all the couples and families that trusted Jenn Moak Photography in 2017 to capture your most important moments and memories.  I try to make it the best experience for every person I interact with on these most precious days.  Before the wedding, I work to be organized on the couple’s behalf with pre-planning and suggestions and tips because I love to see couples get the absolute most out of their whirlwind day.  I’m efficient.  I’m quick.  But I’m also astute and pay attention to details and interactions to ensure everyone is comfortable and feels confident in the moment.  On the day of the wedding, I do my best to roll with the conditions when there are changes due to such things as weather or timing, and I use years of experience to make those adjustments as easy and flawless as possible for my couples.  After the wedding, I meticulously edit images because I want couples to be proud to share their images with friends and family.  And I won’t lie – I do stress myself out with all of these goals.  I’m a Virgo – it’s part of my fabric to worry.  Hahahaha!  But as long as my couples enjoy their day, as long as they get the most out of it, and as long as I deliver what they are owed and then some, it’s a win!   Therefore, to see this collection of happy couples makes it all worthwhile.

Here is a quick, abbreviated look-back at the fabulous events I was privileged to document throughout the year, 2017.  So many laughs, so many genuine smiles, so much fun!  That’s what I strive for – to capture those moments in a fun and relaxed way.  I’m not a huge fan of overly-posed, contrived wedding photography.  I love genuine interactions and unique experiences that make up the best moments of life.  Hopefully I do them justice, and again, I appreciate the opportunity to do so as a seasoned Albany and Saratoga Wedding Photographer who has documented over 500 weddings and events.  Here’s looking forward to many, many more!

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I’m also pleased to have documented these weddings at some of the best venues in the Capital District and beyond, along side of some of the best wedding vendors in the area.  Thanks goes out to them, also, for making it such a successful year.

90 State Events, Appel Inn, The State Room, Saratoga National Golf Club, The Grandview, The Century House, Lucas Confectionary, Brown’s Revolution Hall, Saratoga Nation Museum of Dance, Wedding Barn at Lakota Farms, Mohawk River Country Club, Franklin Plaza, Franklin Terrace, Canfield Casino. Terrace at Water’s Edge Lighthouse

Yep, still super busy over here – plugging away at wedding proofs and fall portrait sessions, with the intentions of updating the blog over the winter – otherwise known as ‘down time’ in the wedding business.  But I cannot hold back any longer – I need to share some of Becky & Chris’ National Museum of Dance wedding fabulousness!  We started with a sweet first look, followed by some fun family and wedding party photos at Yaddo Gardens.  They held their wedding ceremony at Saratoga State Park by the reflecting pool at the beautiful Hall of Springs.  One of the special highlights of the event was the New Orleans style second line wedding march out of the wedding ceremony, appropriately led by a jazz band.  This was in a tribute to the time Chris had spent in New Orleans.  So fun – the guests loved it!  Especially the personalized beer Kozies!  The evening capped of with a rousing celebration and tented reception at the Saratoga National Museum of Dance, including some great performances by Grand Central Station and guest appearance by Chris’ aunt, who sang their first dance and their mother/son dedication dance.  There were so many fabulous personal touches.  Now, take a peek at some of the stunning eye candy that formed a celebration to remember for two very kind, very sweet people.

Congratulations, Becky & Chris!

 

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Sooooo, the blog still works.  Hahahaha.  I’ve been so busy working through proofs that the blog has stalled.  But I’ve been loving all the great engagement sessions lately that I needed to share!  Here is Emmalee and Sean’s Saratoga Engagement Shoot – a nice, causal evening late in September, just on the cusp of fall.  But as I’m sure you know, this season has been a strange one – weather-wise, so it felt a little more like summer than fall, which made their baseball set so appropriate.  We met up at Saratoga State Park and soaked up the pleasant evening air and introduced ourselves to one another – something I find extremely beneficial on the wedding day – that early introduction.  So often I hear from couples that they are glad we did the session together before the wedding, as it helped put them at ease and gave them an idea of how I work and how they fit into one another, photographically speaking.  And let’s not forget – it’s just fun!

I look forward to seeing Emmalee and Sean again in May for their Desmond wedding!

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Yes, you read that correctly – I’m featuring a winter engagement session in July!  I sat on this one, kind of like you save guest towels for a special occasion.  I just knew it would perfect to post in a warm, even sweltering month as we would more likely appreciate the scenes, instead of when all of our teeth were chattering from the below-freezing temps, like the day we photographed Emma and Shawn’s winter engagement shoot.  It was 19 degrees, I believe – right smack in the middle of a relentless cold snap, but oh my, oh my, how I do love that sweet winter light, especially at sunset.  It flies by like a wispy breeze, hard to catch, ever so quick, but if you act fast, you can capture the icy, pastel magic!  And we did.

We started at Emma & Shawn’s place and played  little with their maltese fur-babies, Fredrik and Luke, who nearly stole the show!  Then we headed out to nearby Saratoga Lake at Brown’s Beach, where Shawn had originally popped the question (in warmer months).  They were troopers, and as usual, despite my warnings, a little stunned by exactly how cold it was.  LOL  Standing still in those frigid temps is a whole different ballgame from, say, winter sports or moving about on a brisk fall day.  It’s bone-chilling cold!  But they pulled through, even shedding coats for a few shots.  And Emma, in those poppin’ pink heels, trekking through crunchy snow!  So in love!  Ahhhh, the process vs. the results – it was so worth it!  Nature blessed us with a beautiful sky that evening.  Then we headed back to their abode to thaw and for kicks, finished with Emma’s original vision of snuggling up in lounge wear, because brrrrrrr – you need a glass of wine to warm from the inside out and, hey, why not!

So in just one month (August), these beautiful people will make it official.  In the meantime, let’s enjoy this look back at the oh-so-cool memories of their winter engagement session – a great way to ‘break the ice’ before the big day!  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.  Pun intended.)  ;)

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We had fun with Michelle and Kevin’s Thatcher Park engagement session, not once but twice!   Mother Nature has not been overly kind this season, and when we headed up to Thatcher Park overlook for the first time, she decided to spritz on us unexpectedly, though the cloud-cover made for some great shots of the horizon.  We were able to sneak in a few sweet shots of the bride and groom-to-be enjoying the view.  We headed back another day in full, warm sunshine and completed the session.  Michelle and Kevin made it so easy, fitting into one another like lock and key.  I enjoyed getting to know them and watching their connection flourish.  Engagement sessions are always a fabulous way to get acquainted before the hustle and bustle of the wedding day!  I look forward to working with them for their October wedding!

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Sister or mister gender reveal – what fun!  With baby number four on the way, Mama wanted to do something special with her girls, so she organized a gender reveal.  She couldn’t contain her anticipation and learned of the gender in advance.  This allowed her to prep the balloon-pop with the appropriately colored confetti inside.  Luckily the tassels didn’t give it away because the sisters were super excited to learn their new addition would be a baby brother!  After the exciting news settled in, we captured a few portraits of the sisters, as well as some snuggles with Mama.

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Paisley came to see me for her studio newborn session and ‘see’ me she did.   Haha – she was not very interested in sleeping for very much of her session.  She was too curious.  She fought it, which yielded some of the cutest ‘yawn photos.’  But despite being quite alert, she was still very chill, relaxing in the wraps, waiting patiently for me to get over oohing and ah-ing at all her cute little details, her tiny button nose, her sweet little overbite, and her pretty almond eyes.  Eventually she gave in long enough to capture a few snuggly curled poses, but soon she was back and ready to go.

Stay curious, sweet Paisley, and welcome to the world!

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