Foundation Workshop 17: Let The Dog Get The Sandwich!

Our amazingly spirited group!

 

Group Photo by: Joshua D’hondt

What is the Foundation Workshop? This is a workshop led by the world’s best documentary wedding photographers and photography teachers. They are leading the industry internationally and pushing all of the boundaries all of the time. This is where you go to get pushed, to grow, to learn and to make life long friendships in the process.

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My biggest lesson at Foundation Workshop ???

LET THE DOG GET THE SANDWICH (and try to make a damn good photo of it!)

Skipping ahead to day 2 of shooting real quick….

SO on my second day in the field photographing my assignment, The Battenfield Family who lives in Texas with their 3 kids, we were at their cousins’ house. They have a big friendly dog, horses, chickens, you name it! So when my mentors, Citlalli Rico and Derrick Rice, came to see me they scrolled through the back of my camera to see what I’ve been up to compared to day one of the assignment. “You are doing what we told you to do!” they said with genuine smiles. I was happy, I had come into the 2nd day with a completely different mindset than the first and it was going pretty well.

They had given me lots to work on after critiquing my first day on the assignment;

Commit to my compositions to be still.

Find clean backgrounds and intentional light.

Capture the moments I was connecting too.

So with that they stuck around to watch me shoot and give me more advice in the field (one of the most helpful parts of this workshop). As the kids came out to the porch with their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the big goofy lab started to try and steal the little boy’s sandwich. The dog was harmless but the boy seemed a little scared (but make no mistake the boy was not in any danger at all).

With that I let my camera hang by my side and got involved, pulled the dog away from the boy and sent him off. My mentors immediately said, ‘Katie! LET THE DOG GET THE SANDWICH! Be ready, when something like that is about to happen you need to find your composition, stay put and CAPTURE THE MOMENT. Those are the moments that make up stories of their childhood.”

“AH HA!” I said! I understood what they were saying but my instinct was to help the boy instead of make the photo and this is a habit I will learn to adjust. So many things clicked for me at that moment. As the photographer it’s not my job to alter the scene or to become part of it, it’s to capture what is happening and the moments that tell the story of these kids and their youth in Texas, INCLUDING THE BIG GOOFY DOG STEALING THE SANDWICH! I’ll say again the dog was a big love, the kid was not in danger. So there was my mantra for the rest of the day “Let the dog get the sandwich!” It became a story in my mind that I have come back to a few times since Foundation! It is a lesson I will think of on a wedding day and in other parts of my job, to put myself in the right position to capture real life moments, after all….isn’t that why I came to this workshop in the first place? I was starting to understand more of what they were teaching me and it was an exciting feeling.

I thought back to my time at photography school from 2009-2011…

I had studied Visual Journalism at the New England School of Photography and I remember many of the lessons my Journalism teacher Glen Cooper had taught us. It had been too long since I was focused on these lessons.  This approach is the reason I initially wanted to go to photography school, to learn how to learn to tell stories with photography. I remembered our assignments and what we had learned throughout our class and during our workshop in Guatemala. Over the years the majority of what I have been shooting is Weddings and Portraiture and it’s wonderful but the moments my clients and I always love the most are just that, they are real moments, not the posed photos, the real life moments. I want to bring more of my passion for story telling into my wedding and portrait work. Foundation Workshop exactly was indeed exactly where I needed to be at this point in time and on this wild photographic journey in life.

I was there to learn, practice and listen.  I wasn’t here to pose the kids or make beautiful family portraits with everyone looking at the camera, that is something I already know how to do. Capturing real moments and documenting the story, that is what I am continuing to strive towards. That is why I went to Texas……

To let that dog get the sandwich!

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A little more about the workshop and photos!

Above Photo by: Derrick Rice (one of my mentors) That’s me, day two of photographing my assignment, a wonderful family and their cousins! A long day with many lessons and horses too!

Another lesson for me was to not get distracted by all the pretty horses!

It is no secret that I am a horse person and have been since I was 8. I grew up riding and I still ride and love these beautiful animals so much. So naturally after reading my bio I knew there was no way Foundation would assign me to a rodeo or something horse related because the point is to get out of your comfort zone. When the family told me that the 2nd day we’d be visiting their cousins who’s father is a Nationally Renown Natural Horsemanship Trainer and they live ON the horse farm I was over joyed! Horses! But when we arrived I immediately realized I needed to stay focused. When I showed up I didn’t run over with my 50mm and make portraits of them the way I had in the past as if they were pretty brides on a wedding day backlit with a soft back ground.  I was there with my 35mm only and my goal was to make interesting photos that told a story. To practice layers. TO PHOTOGRAPH HORSES IN A NEW WAY.  In the end this was a good unexpected hallenge for me.

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Foundation Workshops and our Fearless Leader, Huy Nguygen

Above Photo by: Joshua D’hondt

What originally brought me to Foundation Workshop? (Besides David Murray telling me to go!)

Last year in February 2016 I attended The Inspire Photo Retreat in Newport, Rhode Island. There were a few things that really clicked for me while I was there. I met some of the amazingly talented photographers who have also been involved in The Foundation Workshop. I had first heard of Foundation a few years back and then in Newport, some of the speakers talked about their experience at Foundation and how it impacted their life and photography. What I heard was right in line with what it says on the website for the workshop:

 This is the workshop your friends have been warning you about.’

I kept hearing….”It’s hard work, people cry, but consistently people say it changes their lives and their craft in a positive way.”

At Inspire Kirsten Lewis talked about tapping into ‘who we really are.’ In other words, anyone can learn to operate a camera, but once the technical is mastered, it’s actually WHO we are as individuals and how we see the world that makes the difference in our work. On some levels I had known this and thought about it, but during these three days, it all began to make more sense.

Our personality and our life experiences show up in our work, in our photos, in the moments we choose to freeze in time. 

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My Foundation Workshop Experience

So I applied to Foundation Workshop and had many months to get excited, nervous and prepared for a life changing week in Texas! It was everything I hoped for and so much more. Leading up to the workshop Huy the founder of Fearless Photographers and Foundation Workshop gave us a book to read. “Mindset, The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck I would recommend this book to anyone, it is a great guide to life and how to use a growth mindset to tackle challenges in all phases of life. I believe reading this put me in a very good mindset for the workshop and ready for critiques and to learn learn learn!

 

January 2017

January flew by as I finished reading the book and soon the date was approaching to travel up to Boston for the night and leave early the next morning on a flight to Texas! As usual the Nantucket weather gods had different plans and when the forecast started looking funky for my trip off island I realized I needed to leave a day early so I wouldn’t get stuck on Nantucket! It was a good idea as all the boats and flights off island were canceled the next day. So after a flight and 2 nights in Boston I boarded my flight to Texas! Arriving in Glen Rose was pretty great. I instantly met lots of the other attendees and some of the staff and teachers! We had a great day of presentations and lots of valuable information and then we got our teams! I have to say that one of the most incredible parts of Foundation is that they take 20-30 photographers and they really take time to learn about you and where you are in your life, and that is even before you get to Texas. This ensures that you are placed on a team with appropriate mentors for you and with team mates who will ultimately become life long friends of yours. They want everyone to learn and grow from where they are currently, and that is something that various from photographer to photographer but they embrace the various levels of experience seamlessly.  Here are a few photos from Joshua D’hondt who documented our whole week at Foundation! She captured the first moments of when we found out our mentors and needless to say we were EXCITED!

Our Team! Lyndah Wells, Liesbeth Parlevliet, Elihu Castillo and Kevin Heslin!

Mentors: Citlalli Rico & Derrick Rice, Team Assistant Extraordinaire: Tim Forbes

Team Hugs!

Team Tigers Group Photo

 Above three photos by: Joshua D’hondt

Some of the best advice I got leading up to the workshop was from the one and only David Murray, a friend, a mentor and someone you should listen to….

“You will do well. And never be discouraged. You will fail. You must fail. We all fail. So just know that picking yourself up and pushing on after is where the learning and growing begin. It will just be important to remember all this when you are having a hard time of it. Just have faith that what has been said will ring true in the long run!”  – David Murray

 

I really took David’s advice to heart. I read his words over and over and put them in my journal for the trip. I tried not to have too many expectations before the workshop. Some friends who had attended before had told me to go without expectations and I took their advice. I focused on being open to learning and growing leading up to the workshop. That said, I did go expecting it to be challenging and inspiring and these things definitely ended up being true. It wasn’t scary like I had initially thought it was going to be. But they have you dig deep into your personal psyche, into your life to find out what is standing between you and the photos you want to make. I realized I wanted to photograph more personal work, I realized I needed to remain still at times when my instincts might have me running all over the place.

The lessons continue to settle in now and will continue to teach us over a lifetime.

I truly wanted to get pushed and to learn. Our mentors were really nice to us and even when encouraging us during critiques they did it in a way that made me want to listen, evolve my process and continue learning. At the end of our first full day, after presentations and after dinner they gave us our assigments. Many of us were assigned to document families and I believe everyone got assignments that pushed them in all the ways they needed. For me this was going to be a great assignment. As I mentioned this is a workshop designed on practicing the photojournalistic approach, no posing, no changing the scene, no directing, just being present and documenting the story as illustrated my first paragraph about the dog and the sandwich!

A few photos by the amazing Joshua D’hondt from our cirque sessions

Our group was all about supporting each other during critiques. We had a lot of wonderful moments together.

Serious times during critique. Taking it all in and listening to my mentors.

Big Thanks to Derrick Rice for this photo of me, laying ground level finding a composition against the huge blue Texas Sky.

Two epic long days of photographing my assignment, long hours of critiques and so many lessons learned. During this photo above I could hear Ben Chrisman’s words of advice to shoot “High, Low, Close, Far” as I dove on the ground to get a lower perspective of what was happening in front of me. Some of the main things I worked on throughout the week may seem simple but under the direction of my new mentors, Citlalli and Derrick, I was really digging deper than I had before with my approach.

Shooting for the highlights.

Committing to compositions.

Photographing the moments I feel connected to.

Practicing layering within one photo.

 

The point of Foundation Workshop is not to walk away with a shiny new portfolio for your instagram account. It’s to work hard, take risks and practice. The workshop asks us to only show 2 photos publicly on social media as they have similar assignments each year and we don’t want to show too much of what we are up to in Texas! After all, the assignments are part of the allure and mystery as you head into the workshop.  I will, however, make a slide show to share with family and friends and whomever wants to see it (as long as they are not a prospective student of FW!)

Here are two photos that mean a lot to me. Photos where I was pushing outside of my comfort zone both mentally and physically and trying new things.

In this first photo it all started with that dog again. The dog was chasing kids around, the kids were playing, jumping off of a ladder to a rope swing tied to a tree. So much happening! Shadows, mixed light, action. I felt really interested in this scene. I started ground level, that was not it. I climbed up the ladder to get a higher perspective and that was not the shot I wanted. ALAS I glanced over at the tree and saw the tiny boards nailed into the tree making a little ladder (which really only looked suitable for tiny kids) and I thought, I HAVE TO CLIMB THAT TREE. I hadn’t climbed a tree since I was the age of these kids. “Ok guys I’m coming up!” I yelled to the few kids that were up on the tree already.  I found a spot where I felt fairly safe and started looking through  my camera to find a composition and then waited. I waited until all of my subjects were lit up in between the shadows and found a moment I connected to. To me this is a photo that represents change and seeing in a new way. It represents being still, quiet and patient something I am always working on.


 

Again we see the dog! Here he was running around stealing hay nets from the horse paddocks and rolling around on the ground so playful. I hit the ground next to him fully expecting to get a paw to the face and a mouth full of hay but that didn’t happen. He kept playing and paid no attention to me. As the girl rounded her corner on the horse I was happy to make a photo that showed the scene, using layers and showing a glimpse into their outdoor life.  Of course this photo could be better. If the horse was a unicorn and  jumping over a rainbow that would be awesome, BUT, this photo means a lot to me, it’s a starting point. It’s motivating.

SO NOW WHAT?

My goal moving forward is to continue to practice and bring more of this story telling element into my family portraits and wedding days. I don’t want to continue making the same images over and over, that wouldn’t fill my soul the way it does when we make new and unique photos at every wedding that can tell the story of the day.

I will to strive in the direction of story telling and evolve my craft. I will remain teachable throughout life, something we should all try and do. I left Foundation understanding why I want to make photos that convey a feeling, and translate a moment. I left feeling more in tune with what I want to shoot. All of this is a LIFETIME PRACTICE but I feel that ultimately through this journey I can offer something unique and beautiful to my clients.  I am really enjoying this stage of my career and continuing to learn from some of the most internationally renown and hard working photographers out there. To them I say THANK YOU! 

Foundation Workshop ended and we all went home and kept in touch. Of course I kept in touch with my group a lot since I love over communicating 🙂 I miss them tons, I am reminded every day to keep shooting. In fact I just went to Inspire Photo Retreats again and was thankful to have David Murray critique my work. I was also lucky to have Huy as a mentor and talk more with him about Foundation and the work that came out of that experience. He gave great advice to always seek out honest feedback about your photos and really in all aspects of life. Great advice! He stressed how important this is in order to grow and I have been really thankful to find some  honest colleagues and mentors who are giving me their critiques.

Now it’s time to keep shooting, to practice and keep photographing the things I love.

So there I was in Newport a few days before Inspire with my boyfriend for the weekend. We drove past Easton’s Beach and saw a Polo Match on the beach!  I found out the Match was part of Newport Winter Festival 2017! As I mentioned since Foundation Workshops in Texas I have been carrying my camera around a lot more with my 35mm and after we parked I practically sprinted over to see the action. I was thinking about what I learned in Texas, I got close and waited for the moments I felt connected to! These are two of the photos I made during the Polo match:

During the polo preparation I loved seeing all of the chaos. Spectators wandering around, players tacking up, dogs playing near the horses and beautiful light.

The match was finishing and I loved how the players rode around high fiving all of the spectators! I got low and moved across ‘the line’ and figured if I got kicked by a horse it wouldn’t be the first time and hopefully it would allow me the vantage point I wanted.

Next stop Florida!

Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten is to shoot what you love. I am leaving tomorrow for Florida to spend a week documenting the healing power of horses and the activities at The Marion Therapeutic Riding Association. I am going to immerse myself into this project continue to practice, practice, practice.

Maybe If I pray enough to the Photo Gods I’ll even capture a dog stealing a sandwich!

Thanks you for reading about my experience at Foundation Workshop!  If you are interested in going to this workshop then GO!! Start saving up, apply, mark your calendar and set the goal. It’s worth it, I am continuing to realize how much that week in Texas changed my life! Big heartfelt thanks to The Battenfield Family for welcoming me into your life to document your story! Thanks again to Huy, his staff, the mentors, the whole community. We sure had fun and I’m thankful for all the friendships that will surely last a lifetime!

Team Tigers –  I love you guys! Thanks for this photo Derrick Rice!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Celebrating Love, Happiness and The Weddings of 2016!

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Happy Valentine’s Day from Katie Kaizer Photography! Here’s to 2016! One of the best years yet for so many reasons! I am so thankful for all the people we get to meet through our work;  the incredibly hard working vendors, the amazing wedding planners, the guests who give it their all on the dance floor, the bands who keep everyone dancing until the last song and of course to the wonderful couples who trust us to tell their story. There are always a lot of laughs, smiles, emotions and memories made.

We started off our season over Memorial Day Weekend here on Nantucket with Emily and Evan’s Wedding and hit the ground running with a very busy year! In addition to all of the 2016 weddings we were out shooting family portraits just about every evening during the summer. We had one rainy weekend in the Spring but we look at the rain as an opportunity to make  exciting photos while embracing the elements. Arielle and Art were not phased one bit by the rain and I believe it was their positive attitude on the wedding day that willed the sun to come out before dark for a few lovely portraits over looking the water front in Tom Nevers.

Another huge highlight for us was traveling to Wisconsin to photograph my amazing friends Trixie and Dave! They had an unbelievable day full of surprises that made their day even more memorable than they could have imagined. Cary Tozer came with me and we had so much fun photographing the wedding at Trixie’s  parent’s property, their portraits at the neighboring Dairy Farm and a visit (in their wedding attire) before the ceremony to the hospital to meet their new baby nephew who was born on the morning of their wedding.

Here are a few favorite behind the scenes photos of this year! From the coast of Nantucket to the corn fields of Wisconsin! We had so much fun and I can’t thank Kathryn Kennedy and Cary Tozer enough for all of their hard work throughout the season! We have a whole lot of fun at the weddings and I am so thankful for all the laughter and good memories!

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Thanks to Cary for getting up on roof tops everywhere and to Kathryn for getting that photo of me on a roof too!

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What a gift to do what we love and love what we do! To see full highlight posts click on the title above the couple’s portrait. There you will see more photos and also a list of the wonderful vendors.

Emily & Evan // May 28th 2016

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Charlotte & Clayton // June 4th 2016

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Art & Arielle // June 11th 2016

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Kelly & Allan // June 18th 2016

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Erin & Toby // June 25th 2016

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Eric & Paul // June 29th 2016

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Amy & Anthony // July 14th 2016

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Alyssa & Dan // July 16th 2016

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Sarah & Tom // July 23rd 2016

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Diana & Bobby // August 21st 2016

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Sarah & Mitch // September 3rd 2016

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Sarah & Jon // September 4th 2016

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Sasha & Alex // September 10th 2016

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Kate & Roddy // September 17th 2016

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Kendall & Kerry // September 18th 2016

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Lauren & Ben // September 24th 2016

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Trixie & Dave // October 1st 2016

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Frottsin and her parents!  // October 8th 2016

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Catie & Tricia // October 22nd 2016

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Rosini & Justin // December 22nd 2016

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Here’s a few more memories from the season, including our trip out to Wisconsin to photograph Trixie and Dave’s Wedding, Dave is one of my best pals from college! I even got to get into the UNCW group photo! Such an honor to photograph that wedding!

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Here’s to another great year!! We are looking forward to Wedding Season 2017 and look forward to seeing you all soon!

Rosini and Justin’s Holiday Wedding on Nantucket

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Rosini and Justin were married at The Brant Point Lighthouse on December 22nd 2016. They had a lovely afternoon for their intimate wedding by the sea. Catherine Stover was their officiant and they had their beautiful daughter Nina Rose and their Golden Retriever Maya by their side for the intimate ceremony. With Christmas just a few days away they had a touch of Holiday colors and a gorgeous bouquet by our amazing friend Betsy of Betsy Brooks Floral and Design. The decorated Brant Point Lighthouse added even more to the festive look of the afternoon.

Rosini and Justin are close friends of mine and when Rosini told me that they were thinking of a small ceremony on the beach I was so happy and honored to be there and photograph their wedding. With her family in Brazil and Justin’s Family in Maine there will surely be another celebration in the future but we all agreed it was important for them to have photos of their wedding so they could share the beautiful afternoon with everyone.

They are a couple who radiates love and they have become a family over the past years with their love and commitment to each other and the birth of their little daughter, Nina Rose, who will also be a big sister come June. They have so much to celebrate and be thankful for and we are all so happy for them!

Nantucket is a special place to so many and I loved hearing Rosini’s favorite memories about the island, the place they fell in love and so much more…

“Nantucket is such a special place for so many reasons. For Justin and I, it is where we met and were able to create lasting memories such as long summer days at the beach with friends, cozy winter nights by the fire, having our daughter Nina Rose who is soon going to be a big sister, watching our dog Maya swim for hours on end, and getting engaged last summer at Brant Point!”

Congratulations to our sweet friends! It is an honor to photograph your we all couldn’t be happier for you!

Officiant: Catherine Stover, Bouquet: Betsy Brooks Floral and Design, Photographer: Katie Kaizer Photography, Bride’s Dress and Sweater: Milly and Grace

Enjoy! – Katie K.

 

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An afternoon with Amy, Henry and their new dog Keiki

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Amy and Henry are good friends of mine and I just love their new dog Keiki! I was so excited about photographing them with their awesome new dog! I loved Amy’s description of their new pup…..”Keiki is a 7 month old Wheaton Terrior.  He is a mid-western pup (from Nebraska), with a Hawaiian name (Keiki means “little one/child”), living on Nantucket! ”

 Photographing my friends and fellow Nantucketers is always SO much fun. We had a great time out at Cisco Beach! It was windy and the waves were beautiful. The moon also rose right around sunset. Such a pretty fall evening. I love capturing their love for the island, each other and of course their new dog!
Here’s a few words from Amy about their life on Nantucket….”Henry and I love to take Keiki to Cisco beach….he loves chasing the waves.  He is growing quickly, but he loves to be held and snuggled.  I am sure you will see the three of us strolling around Main Street all the time, next summer!”
Enjoy! – Katie K.

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Catie & Tricia’s Nantucket Wedding

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Catie and Tricia were married on October 22nd 2016 on Nantucket Island. Catie was born and raised on Nantucket and Tricia grew up on Cape Cod in Mashpee. Their wedding weekend was full of joy, love and celebration. These two are so very loved and we were honored to capture such a beautiful wedding. We loved their custom Converse Sneakers with their wedding date embroirdered on the side, just one of their many personal touches to the wedding! Since Catie is from the Island it was so much fun to see many familiar faces at their celebration! Here’s more from Catie about their decision to have their wedding here….

“We chose to have our wedding on Nantucket because after two years of commuting, the island had become a huge part of our relationship. Nantucket encompassed both the quiet and beauty of Cape Cod, which both of us love.  Tricia and I commuted for two years before I moved over to the Cape, we were engaged in Hawaii in 2014 while visiting Catie’s sister, and we were married on our 5 year anniversary. ”

When I met with Catie and Tricia months ago to hear more about their story and their wedding plans I knew this was going to be a heartfelt and very special wedding. They are a couple who truly supports each other and loves each other unconditionally. You can tell within moments of meeting them that the are meant to be together. True to Nantucket form we had some high winds roll in the weekend of their wedding and stormy skies too. I loved their attitude as the weekend arrived and we all agreed that we’d embrace the weather and though we couldn’t go with the original ceremony site (due to wind) we had a great outdoor backup in place! I loved their enthusiasm for photos and when I mentioned the Kayak Beach around the corner from their house they loved the idea of a few water front portraits (despite the interesting weather conditions!)

“Our original venue of Brant Point Lighthouse was where we had one of our first dates on the island. Also, many trips on the boat the lighthouse became a symbol of their wishes to return to each other (trying to tie in the throwing of pennies and wishes)- which was huge for us.  Due to weather we held our ceremony at The Whero Whero House, one of the residences we had rented for the wedding weekend. Our reception, which took place at Faregrounds Restaurant was a huge part of our connection to the island. Catie’s mom has worked with Bill Puder, owner of Faregrounds, for most of Catie’s life and has been a huge part in her growing up. Therefore, it was only fitting that she start this new journey there among friends and family. ”

The Faregrounds was a cozy place for their reception and as we arrived everyone welcomed in the newlyweds for their first dance. It was a beautiful site to see everyone surround Catie and Tricia with love throughout their special day. I loved hearing from Catie and Tricia about their most memorable parts of the day. We had decided to do their fist look right next to Catie’s Mother’s home and it was a beautiful setting.

“One of the most memorable parts of the day was the first look and the moments following.  Shortly after the first look, when Tricia and I were taking pictures in the field, the honks and cheers from those in our community. It really captured the essence of Nantucket and the love we have for the island and its community.  Following those moments of seeing each other for the first time, gathering our girls on Catie’s moms front porch, which to many might be just a porch, it has so many memories of our relationship and the relationships we’ve built with family and friends, that it was extra memorable for us to embrace those moments of seeing those we know, love, and cherish. To celebrate with little honks, cheers, and waves was something we have always loved about that front porch. ”

At this wedding you could really feel and see the support and love from everyone in attendance. We felt truly honored to capture such a special day for two ladies whom have hearts of gold. They are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Wishing them all the best and happy to know we’ll be seeing them around Nantucket for years to come!

 

Special Thanks to Kathryn Kennedy for joining me to photograph this wedding, our last one of the year! I can’t imagine a better way to wrap up the season!

Photography: Katie Kaizer Photography, Flowers: Verde Floral Design, DJ: Cheryl Atherton of Sister Spin Entertainment,, Stationary: Dulce Press and Rachel Walker, Cake/Cupcakes: Nantucket Cake Company, Tiina Polvere, Tricia’s Hair: Heather Steele , Catie’s Hair: Suzanne’s Hair Design, Makeup: Jess Davis, Rehearsal Dinner Catering & Reception: Faregrounds Restaurant, Bill and Kim Puder, Bridal and Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal , Ceremony: Whero Whero House, Rentals: Nantucket Party Rentals , Officient: Rev. Erin Splaine, Transportation: Nantucket Island Tours

 

Enjoy! – Katie K.

 

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Liz and Sam’s Nantucket Engagement Session

 

blogsamliz_007_katiekaizerphotographyLiz and Sam were engaged earlier this year at The Great Point Lighthouse! This lovely couple lives here year round and I was thrilled when they got in touch about doing a Nantucket Engagement Session! Sam is in the Coast Guard and to kick off the session we started with a few portraits down at the Brant Point Coast Guard Station! The light was gorgeous and from there we visited Brant Point Lighthouse, a few other favorite places and The Sankaty Lighthouse! It was a great Nantucket evening full of beautiful colors and lots of gorgeous sunshine! I loved getting to know them better and later hearing about what they love about Nantucket!

From Liz…. “Nantucket is such a special place for so many reasons. For Sam and I, it was where we were introduced by our mutual friend.  I had grown up vacationing on Nantucket, but when I decided to move here I hadn’t been living here very long before Sam and I met.  We spent time together exploring the island while getting to know one another. It was a little surreal to be realizing a dream of getting to live in my favorite place and falling in love with my future husband at the same time.”

Throughout their session I could tell they are really living the dream here on Nantucket! We are so surrounded by natural beauty on the island and it was so much fun to capture their relationship in some of their favorite places. I was so thankful when I read Sam’s words about their session…

From Sam….”When we combined the artistic eye of Katie and the beautiful backdrop of Nantucket, we were able to create lasting memories through her skillful lens we will cherish forever.  With Katie’s easy-going, professional demeanor we felt a comfortable atmosphere from start to finish.”

Wishing Liz and Sam an amazing wedding next year in Pennsylvania! Looking forward to seeing them around Nantucket soon!

Enjoy! – Katie K.

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Trixie and Dave’s Wedding in Wisconsin

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Trixie and Dave were married on October 1st 2016 at Trixie’s family home in Wisconsin. It was such a special heartfelt ceremony surrounded by family and friends. Having been together for 7 years and having lived in many places together, Trixie and Dave had friends joining them from all over the country. This wedding was unlike any other wedding we have ever photographed. It’s hard to even find the words to describe the awesomeness of the whole weekend of festivities….thankfully we have the photos to tell the story! I have been friends with Dave since our college years at UNCW and when he got in touch about photographing their wedding in Wisconsin I knew it would be an unforgettable experience! Part of what made this wedding so unique was the amount of people involved in making it happen. They say it takes a village……in this case they had their family and friends come together to help them create the celebration of a lifetime. They had transformed Trixie’s parent’s property for this wedding and we got to see a lot of photos of the progress over the last year. It was so special to see everyone come together for the big day. Here’s a little more abut their life in Wisconsin and why they decided to have the wedding there…

“We chose my parents house for the wedding location because Dave and I agreed it would be the most FUN out of all the options we looked into.  It was very us!  Everything we needed was here: hotels, an after bar close by, accessibility for shuttles and the park & ride.  It gave us a reason to help my Dad finally finish his pond after 8 years.  Most importantly for me I really wanted to get married somewhere that meant something to me and that Dave and I had both been before.  The house just seemed perfect because Dave had also been living here for a year so we were getting married at his home too!  Its just a really special place for all my family, and to be able to have one of the 4 family weddings here meant a lot to my parents too.  Its special because it’s my home!  I grew up here and always come back here and currently live here…now with my husband. On the wedding day the house still seemed like the perfect location because we could look around and see all the hard work we put in during the year to make it perfect for that day.  To look around and see the transformation of our home was surreal. The long time spent planning along with countless hours of labor that went into turning a barren junkyard into a wedding paradise…getting married was the easy part!”

When we pulled into the driveway to begin our day of photographing the festivities we saw that given the looming rain showers  the men were putting up a big red and white tent over the ceremony chairs. Sure it was last minute but at this point it was the right choice and it was a great site to see everyone get together to make that happen. Given that Dave’s nickname has always been ‘Red Shoes Dave’ (he always wears red shoes) it was fitting that the tent was red. Then there was also the groomsmen present (more red shoes) and did we mention Trixie surprised him at their first look with Red Cowboy boots?! You will see in the photos, it was just the best!

In addition to all these little surprises there was a very big surprise that happened early that morning. I often tell my couple’s that on their wedding day it’s the unexpected moments, the ones you cannot plan, that will be the best memories that stay with you forever. Needless to say Trixie and Dave’s wedding day was full of surprises, including her sister, Sissy, having her baby early that morning. Of course she was meant to be in the wedding party, but life had other plans for her on that day. As we arrived at the house for getting read photos Trixie asked me if we had time to go and meet their new nephew before the ceremony. We decided that was the new plan and hoped into the car to go meet them and welcome the new baby into this world. Someday Tanner will look back and see photos of these beautiful moments…..before his Aunt and Uncle’s Wedding ceremony and only few hours after he was born. I loved hearing more from our lovely bride about this and more of the memorable parts of the day….

“There are too many extra memorable parts of the day!  There were so many surprises!!  The biggest being my sister, Sissy, having her baby that day.  It was a month early so no one ever thought it would happen so soon.  Getting that phone call early in the morning on my wedding day! I will never forget!  Then, Tanner, coming so soon after that call we actually had time to go meet him before the ceremony.  It was an unbelievable, emotional start to the day before the wedding even began!  Other wonderful memories were having our close family friend, Paul, marry us in front of the beautiful pond, getting to dance to Little Feat with my Dad to the band my friends and I followed all through our childhood, standing at the front of the room with my new husband while he was thanking the guests and seeing all the faces together in one place for the first time, listening to another family friend play jazz during the cocktail hour (it was a surprise), getting lifted above the crowd on the dance floor on an inflatable duck!  It was such a memorable day the list goes on and on. ”

The inflatable duck on the dance floor was one of the funniest things we have ever seen! Big thanks for my (tall) and talented associate Cary Tozer for capturing what might be my all time favorite dance party photo of the bride and groom lifted way up high aboard the inflatable duck!

After we met their new baby nephew we were driving over to Trixie’s neighbor’s Dairy Farm for portraits and we decided to make a pit stop at their favorite bar for a good luck shot! I loved the spontaneous decisions all day and it made for great photo ops of their favorite places! We had a great time in the rain at the Dairy Farm too and god bless Trixie as she wasn’t afraid of a little mud if it meant getting some great portraits! (you’ll see in the post!) What fun to photograph them amongst the corn fields and under pretty stormy skies! They looked fabulous!

When we left Wisconsin that Sunday we talked the whole way home about what a beautiful celebration this was and how much FUN everyone had. It is clear that this is a couple who brings out the best in each other and truly loves being together. Something we will never forget was their first dance to ‘Even though We Ain’t Got Money’ by Danny Jones….all of a sudden the entire tent started singing along with them and I have to say there were many happy tears during those moments.

Venue: Bride’s Family Home, Photography: Katie Kaizer Photography, Band: Powered by Five, Catering: Dinners with Class, Lighting & Sound: Eric Barbieri – World Direct Promotions, Myles Hayes

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