2023 {The Favorites} | Maine Family, Lifestyle, and Portrait Photographer

Happy New Year and Happy 2024, friends! It doesn’t seem possible that we are already at the start of another year, but I’m excited because it means I get to take today to re-live so many amazing moments from my 2023 season.

In so many ways, 2023 was a wonderful year for me. My family was fortunate enough to be able to go on some fun adventures, and we welcomed our new puppy Waffles to the family. Professionally it was also an incredible year, with 87 sessions, and so many wonderful people in front of my cameras. Despite a very very rainy summer, I was blessed to have few reschedules (fall was another story haha!) and some absolutely gorgeous sunsets. I spent time with many families who I have been working with for years, and met many new families as well.  And despite a crazy fall with many reschedules due to sicknesses and weather, I ended the year tired but not burnt out – a first in many many years.

My professional goal for 2023 was to remain consistent – a strange goal for me as I had spent many years growing at a rapid pace. In 2022 I made some changes that allowed me to slow down and balance better, and at the start of 2023 I was feeling a bit stressed that I didn’t have huge growth goals for the year. But remaining consistent was exactly what I needed – allowing me a second year to firm up new systems and make sure my ship is running smoothly. I feel I grew in ways I didn’t expect – deeper, more meaningful edits and a more thoughtful eye both behind the camera and in front of the computer. And by staying consistent, my brain had space to begin to be more creative while photographing, as well as on the business side of things. As I enter this new year I feel hopeful and excited – yet calm and peaceful. I love where I am with my clients and my business, and I am grateful for all the moving pieces that keep this photography train rolling for me year after year.

Choosing my favorite photos of the year is always a daunting task and as my work improves each year I find it harder and harder to whittle it down. As always, this year’s collection is a mix of images that I’m proud of technically, and also images that speak to me emotionally. I feel that the 25 photos I chose this year truly encapsulate the beauty of 2023 through my lens, and I’m very excited to share the photos and the stories behind them below.

To all of you who I had the pleasure of spending time with in 2023 – thank you. There are never enough words for how much you my clients mean to me. I adore each and every one of you and look forward to seeing your smiles each year. I have so much fun running around the beach with you, getting your kids to play and smile (and become my best friends, obviously ????), and most importantly I love capturing you and yours together in your favorite places. It’s not lost on me the importance of what I do and I take the responsibility incredibly seriously. Thank you for making my job fun and exciting – it’s the best gig in the world and it’s because of all of you. ❤️

In chronological order, here are my favorite 25 photos of 2023. ✨

1. Denise & Josie, At Home, May

My season started a little late this year, and Denise and Josie’s mother-daughter session was one of my first sessions of 2023. We took the photos at their home, where they have horses and this beautiful red barn. Josie is full of so much happy energy and I couldn’t resist asking her and Denise to have a little dance party in front of the barn. This photo was an instant favorite. I love the connection between the two of them, and the way Josie is looking at her mom like this is just the best moment of the whole day. Their body energy is so full of happy and the movement in Denise’s shirt just makes the whole thing extra magical. {Full blog post}

2. The BG Family, At Home, May

In April, Caitlin, Mic, and little Hugo welcomed a new baby sister to the family – sweet little Mila. I was able to visit their home here in Yarmouth in May for Mila’s newborn session and their first photos since her arrival. This photo (shared with permission) was a favorite as soon as I saw it. Little Hugo flying backwards into mom as she nurses so perfectly captures the dynamic of life with a newborn and a toddler. I took this photo from their staircase and love that this photo has the feel of a “peek” into their new life as a family of four. {Full blog post}

3. The TD Family, Scarborough Beach, Scarborough Maine, May

May was such a great month for sessions, and mid-month I got to spend an hour adventuring with Sarah, John, Mabel, and Guy. This family lives within walking distance of Scarborough Beach, so together we hopped on our bikes and biked through their neighborhood and to the beach for photos at their favorite place. After a lot of running and playing, I found a piece of driftwood and had them snuggle up for a few minutes before heading back to the house. The colors on this spring afternoon were so subdued and pretty and this snuggly moment captured the beauty of this close-knit family together in their super-special place. {Full blog post}

4. The HE Family, Old Port, Portland Maine, June

I loved meeting Briana, Joe, and Ellis during their first visit to Maine in June. These three visited from the midwest, and while they unfortunately had a pretty rainy week while they were here, we had a gorgeous evening in the Old Port. This was the first time I’d done a session in the Old Port in a few years, and it kicked off a few city sessions in 2023. Briana and Joe wanted to capture the city and I loved this photo of the three of them on Exchange St with City Hall in the background from the very beginning of the session. We had to dodge quite a few cars to get this photo and I swear I can hear little Ellis’ sweet giggles as mom and dad loved on him in the middle of the street.  {Full blog post}

5. Caitlin & Emory, York Harbor Beach, York Maine, June

I could have picked so many photos from this session to make it to the favorites list this year. Time with Caitlin and Emory is always so much fun and this year Emory was extra silly and did not hesitate to put a lot of herself into the chilly early June Maine waters! I love the tones and sky in this photo, but the moment of them picking up this massive piece of seaweed together (a piece of seaweed that made it into many of our photos haha!) just screams “Maine kid!” to me, and this photo always makes my heart so darn happy. {Full blog post}

6. The P Family, Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth Maine, June

I had the extreme pleasure of seeing the P Family – Alyssa, Nick, Emme, Mila, and Jack twice this year – once in the spring and again in the fall. This photo was taken during my spring beach mini sessions and has been a favorite all year long. I love the framing of the photo – the layers of the girls, then Jack, then Alyssa, and Nick. I love the mirror image of the girl’s wavy hair as they spin around and the anticipation of the moment when they run back to love on their little brother. And of course, the evening itself was magical with those peach skies, so perfect for this beautiful and special family. {Full blog post}

7. The P Family, Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport Maine, June

This photo will forever hold a very special place in my heart. Not only did I love this photo of cute little Charles being thrown into the air the second I took it, but I also submitted it to the Click Pro Voice Competition – a very highly regarded competition that I have entered for several years, without any awards. This year I finally had an image selected, and out of 40,000 images submitted in the “Perspective Play” category, this was awarded an Honorable Mention and was one of just 45 images selected for the category. I’m proud of this accomplishment, and so happy to know that Charles big grin (and those two little top teeth poking through!!) and that beautiful sky made a panel of judges smile as much as it did for me. {Full blog post}

8. The B Family, Footbridge Beach, Ogunquit Maine, June

Ok, I REALLY wanted to pick like 50 images from this session. Because nights like this are ones for the books, and everything – I mean everything – about this session was perfect. The sky, the water, the kids, the parents. It was just magic all around. But at the end of the day, it’s this photo that I love the most – even though it doesn’t show their incredibly adorable faces, or those moments where they were laughing so hard that I was laughing so hard I had to put the camera down. But it does show the beauty of this magical evening at Footbridge, with five cousins from Louisiana who love to play together, splash in the water, and enjoy their special time together in Maine. Also, little Leo in the back hiking up his shorts just makes me laugh out loud. ????  What a night! {Full blog post}

9. The D Family, Footbridge Beach, Ogunquit Maine, June

Just two nights after my magical evening with the B Family above, I returned to Footbridge for my session with Kathryn, Andrew, James, Jack, and little Harry. There was a chance of storms this evening (like most of late June), but we lucked out as the storm clouds rolled in during our session, making for crazy cool light. I’ve always loved this little crest at the top of the dunes, and the beautiful clouds and leading lines of the walkway just enhanced the beauty of this family in one of my favorite spots. I love the connection between all five of them, the slightly-skeptical look on Jack’s face and the playful posture of little James who is so adorable and always ready to be on the move. This was one of many favorites from this gorgeous evening. {Full blog post}

10. The C Family, Wells Beach, Wells Maine, July

I always love seeing Preston, Laura, Connor, and Keegan, and we had the most spectacular evening this year on the shores of Wells Beach. The skies were soft, the kids were playful, and it was quite literally a perfect Wells Beach session. This moment caught my eye as soon as I snapped the photo and I knew it would make this blog post. Preston had just scooped Keegan up after chasing him, and Keegan so quickly snuggled into his dad’s arms. I love the feeling of love and protection, and Keegan’s eye contact with the camera in this very moment tells me he trusted me in this moment too. {Full blog post}

11. The E Family, Higgins Beach, Scarborough Maine, July 

This photo. Oh, it’s been a favorite for months now. One of my words that I keep in my head for each and every session is connection. This can be captured in a variety of ways, but in this photo it is so clearly captured through touch and love. This is a family with three kids who are on.the.move., so capturing a moment this peaceful and sweet is extra special. I love how they are all connected physically, but also love how everyone has their eyes closed – truly taking in the beauty of being together in this beautiful place. {Full blog post}

12. The F and G Families, Bar Harbor Maine, July 

In July I spent two hours with the F and G Families in Bar Harbor for our annual lifestyle session. I have so many favorites from this one, especially from our time spent on the Bar Island trail at low tide as the fog lifted over the islands in Mt. Desert Narrows. But it’s this black and white of Katie and Ginny that still stops me in my tracks. I actually almost didn’t include this image in their collection, but then decided to try it in black and white, and suddenly the story spoke to me. I love the texture and movement in their hair, and the so-familiar mom look of “come on, let’s go.” The fog and the lack of color give this photo a mood that makes me want more of the story, and I’m so glad I took a chance on this one before removing it from their collection. {Full blog post}

13. The B Family, Ferry Beach, Scarborough Maine, July

I’ve had the honor of capturing the B Family since 2015, when Ella, pictured here, was just nine years old. This year she is a senior in high school, and I am blown away (although not in the slightest surprised!) by what a beautiful young woman she has become. This was a family session, but I took a few minutes with just Ella, and I so love this photograph of her. It is sweet and simple, and captures her beauty and her quiet and thoughtful side. It reminds me of the cover of a beautiful novel, and so perfectly captures Ella as she was on this soft and gorgeous evening at Ferry Beach. {Full blog post}

14. The B Family, Higgins Beach, Scarborough Maine, July

I feel like Shawn and Quinn make my favorites list every year and that’s because they are just SO DARN FUN! I hope these two never outgrow their love for Maine and the water, because these two literally never leave our sessions with a single dry spot on them, and I am so here for it!! This year they let the waves come to them, and I only had a minor heart attack watching them lay in the sand waiting to be blanketed by the incoming waves, but also had to laugh because this is just so on brand for these two. I love this silly moment and love seeing these guys and their parents Jill and Dwight each summer during their special time in Maine. {Full blog post}

15. The Extended R Family, Higgins Beach, Scarborough Maine, July

I didn’t have many big extended family sessions this year, but the R Family was one of them, and as always, they were the life of the party. This was another session where I could have picked so many photos to make this list, but this was the moment that won. Trying to get nine kiddos to look at the camera is usually an adventure, and this year the youngest two weren’t always so on board. Family sessions are always 100% a team effort, and mom Bailey was dancing alllllll around me and the kids trying to get the babies to giggle (it worked!!). Through it all, I just kept snapping the shutter and love this moment of Bailey aiming her laughter toward the adults for a moment while the cousins giggled together. It’s moments like this that make photo session magic. ✨ {Full blog post}

16. The M Family, Sebago Lake, August

This was my second year with Gina, Greg, Alexander, and new little guy Cameron. This year we headed to their home on Sebago lake for a stunning lakeside session. I am so proud of this session for many reasons, but mostly because I have to tell you – lake light is HARD!! We certainly lucked out with some stunning light on this early August evening, and I was able to capture this family on the docks with a pretty sunset and gorgeous lake colors. I’m also so proud to announce that this photo was selected as an honorable mention in Click and Co’s new Best Photographer Awards in the Best Family Photographer genre. It’s an honor to have received two awards from Click and Co this year making this session even more special. {Full blog post}

17. The O Family, Ogunquit Beach, Ogunquit Maine, August

If you have not already checked out the full blog post for this session, make sure you take the time to do so after you finish this one. Because this session was a night for the books. We arrived at the beach to heavy mist and rain, and when I suggested rescheduling, they said “let’s go for it!” And so we did. And it was AWESOME. I could have picked one of the hundred photos of Erin, Anthony, Grace, Vincent, Sophie, and Hope laughing so hard while they played in the rain, but it was this image that spoke to me the second I took it. The beauty of the moment, the fog, the umbrella, the drops of rain. It was a moment of peace in an otherwise very playful and silly session, and is my most favorite from this special evening on the beach. {Full blog post}

18. The A Family, Footbridge Beach, Ogunquit Maine, August

I returned to Footbridge a handful of times this year after a year or two without any sessions at this spot. I don’t know what it was, but this year I caught the beach on the most magical evenings, and this one with Kristin, Matt, Chase, and Davis was one of those. The evening started with bright skies that quickly softened into a beautiful purple and peach. One of the things I love most about Footbridge are the reflection photos I can get there and this image of the four of them walking towards me captures both the beauty of this family and this place on a gorgeous August evening. {Full blog post}

19. The C Family, Peaks Island Maine, August

In August, I had the extreme pleasure of making a trip across the bay to Peaks Island with Martha, Ryan, and Nora. I’ve been working with this family since Nora was a baby, and absolutely loved spending an evening adventuring with them around the island. If you’ve followed my work for awhile, you’ll know that I love asking kids to kick the water, and we all laughed as Nora kicked so hard that her flip flop also went flying in the air! I love the expression on her face, and how the colors of her fun tie-dye tshirt match the pink in her flops and the peach in the sky. This was such a fun moment captured on a really fun evening on my favorite island in Casco Bay.

20. The M Family, Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth Maine, September

Oh what a gorgeous evening I had at Crescent Beach on this September day with Spring, Silas, Lydia, and Brogan. Of all the silly moments, the playful moments, the incredibly stunning sunset, and the sweet in-betweens, for some reason this photo has stuck with me. It’s not technically perfect – Silas’ head is chopped off, as are the dog’s feet, Brogan’s wrist, and Lydia’s ankles. But I love the moment – the movement, the layers, the seriousness on the kids’ faces as they took a few minutes with their parents before running of into the distance. Maybe it’s that as a parent these are the moments that ground us – where everyone is one, even for just a few minutes. Whatever it is, I love this moment, this image, and this incredibly sweet family. {Full blog post}

21. Chase, Sebago Lake Maine, September

I was blessed with some really fantastic senior sessions this fall, and Chase’s session on Sebago Lake was absolutely incredible. When I asked Chase what he wanted to most capture from his senior session, he said he wanted a picture of the sunset making the sky bright orange with the water in the photo. Well the weather gods were on our side on our session date, and that is just what we were able to capture. His pink shirt made him pop among the colorful background, and I love the peaceful moment captured of Chase in his happy place on his boat on the lake. {Full blog post}

22. The D Family, Pineland Farms, New Gloucester Maine, September

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a session at Pineland while the gardens and trees were still in bloom, so I was excited to go there with Katyln, Andy, Henry, and Lily in September. It was a tough pick between this photo and one of the family on the bridge, but my heart had to go with this one. Henry has brought his little camera with him to our sessions since he got it at Lily’s newborn session, and I love how he is taking a photo of me while Lily scooches down and looks on. Additionally their outfits so perfectly coordinated with the colors of the farm, and the gorgeous pink sky was just the icing on the cake for this beautiful September session. {Full blog post}

23. The R Family, Sandy Point Beach, Yarmouth Maine, September

I love seeing Rebecca and her boys Alex and Mac each fall, and this year we did our session here in Yarmouth at Fels Grove Preserve and Sandy Point Beach. Alex and Mac were more serious this year – both of them in their pre-teen years and more excited about anything other than photos haha! And while we definitely got some good photos of them smiling together and with their mom, this photo so perfectly captures this year with these boys – quiet, thoughtful, together yet independent. It’s amazing the pull of the ocean and a sunset, and this moment was effortless to capture as the boys took a moment to soak up the beauty of our town and the sunset this evening gave us. {Full blog post}

24. The F Family, Maine Audubon, Falmouth Maine, November

One of my goals for 2023 was to capture more photos of parents together, and this photo of Lindsey and John is hands down my most favorite parent photo of the year. It’s all about the emotion in this one and so captures the beauty of these two as parents. This was my first year working with them, but it was so obvious through their patience and kindness that they are a fabulous team and I love this moment of love, connection and “we’re doing this together” that I feel in both Lindsey’s lean in and John’s happy smile. {Full blog post}

25. Atticus, Reid State Park, Georgetown Maine, November

Last, but certainly not least, is Atticus. This is a photo that almost didn’t happen and I’m so glad that it did. Atticus’ senior session at Reid was one for the books – truly stunning, and after taking about nine million photos, I saw one more I wanted to take but let myself off the hook since I’d kept both him and his mom for longer than usual. Jenny, an artist herself, saw that look in my eye though, and told me they were good to stay, and if I had more to capture, I should do it. I’m so glad she pushed me because I absolutely love this photo of Atticus. He is an old soul, and this photo pulls me forward about ten years to an Atticus in his 20’s – even more confident than he is today, ready and able to take on the world. He’s had to be pretty strong in his young life, and I think this photo captures his strength and the beautiful person he is inside and out. It is one of my most favorite photos of the year. {Full blog post}

Thank you to all of you who supported my small business this year – from booking sessions, to liking my posts online, to sharing my work, supporting my Fine Art Collection, and just throwing me a high five and “you’ve got this!” from time to time – you all keep me going and add so much fulfillment and joy to both my life and my career. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. ❤️ Happy New Year, and here is to a beautiful 2024! ✨