Wednesday, November 14, 2012

...It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...for Family Photos!

All joking aside, the Holiday Season has crept up on us again, and it's now time to start thinking about your annual family photo!

I will be offering Holiday Mini-Sessions now through the New Year, call before the days fill up!

Packages are $75.00, here's what you get:

- 30 minute, on-location shoot
- unlimited images captured
- all edited images on CD w/ printing release
- FB Sneak Peek within 24 hrs
- blog post
- website hosting/professional printing option

You'll receive your finished CD of images within 2 weeks of your shoot, it couldn't be easier! Remember, these images make great Christmas presents too!

*Gift Certificates also available!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Elizabeth & James: Sophisticated Finger Lakes Wedding!

Elizabeth and I became friends back in 2003, as Freshman at Roberts Wesleyan College. We were floormates in O'Brien, where we had many late night talks, practiced our voice lessons, shared many laughs, and laid the foundation for our friendship that has lasted these last 9 years.

James, or Jamie as I know him, came into Elizabeth's life around our Junior year. I don't remember the exact date, but I remember Elizabeth telling me about this boy she met, and how they had a similar passion for singing and music. I left RWC soon after, but I kept up with Elizabeth, and it wasn't long after that Jamie was part of her every day life, and we all knew he wasn't going anywhere.

Over the years, I have been blessed by Elizabeth & Jamie's relationship. Seeing them grow together as a couple, but also as individuals as they encouraged each other in their passions and careers. As I said, they both have a deep passion for music, and some of my favorite memories of them are from recitals where I was able to appreciate their talents together. I was so excited when I learned Elizabeth & Jamie would be singing together at their wedding, I had certainly missed hearing them!

I knew that Elizabeth would plan a sophisticated affair, with her love for style and current trends. I also knew the day would be personal, with touches only an artist would think of. And on October 8th, when Elizabeth & Jamie's day unfolded, I was not disappointed.

They planned a traditional Mass, taking place at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Canandaigua, NY. The Church was filled with light as two became one, and it was a beautiful setting to start the beginning of their lives together.

Their reception was in Geneva, at Belhurst Castle, where Elizabeth had set the perfect scene for a classy afternoon brunch. Light peach and grey touches adorned the room, with delicate babies breath inviting guests to each table. The Castle grounds were gorgeous, and we took full advantage for the couples portraits.

Not only was it a beautiful day for me to photograph professionally, but it was a special day for me personally as well. Celebrating with two friends on their wedding day is one of the greatest joys in life, and I was honored to be a part of their day!

Elizabeth & Jamie: Thank you so much for inviting me to capture your day! May you always know the love of our Father, and the blessing of His favor. Elizabeth, I love you, Happy Wedding, dear!

Heather & Evan: A Fairy Tale Wedding

October 6, 2012:

Heather had dreamt about this day for years. She already knew who her prince was, and had planned the perfect Castle Wedding, surrounded by a small gathering of close friends and family in the crisp fall air.

I met her on the docks in Alexandria Bay, where the ferry would take us over to Boldt Castle, to her Fairy Tale Wedding. Though it had rained earlier in the day, nothing would stop Heather from the outdoor wedding of her dreams.

The Bridal Suite where Heather & her bridesmaids got ready was an old stone tower, where at the very top was a little room with little windows overlooking her ceremony spot. It was truly a Rapunzle moment when Heather stood by the window watching her guests arrive.

Heather & Evan's ceremony was personal and intimate, with joy shining on every face. I loved watching their parents during the ceremony,  with their pride and love so clearly evident.

After the ceremony, The Bridal Party & I had a fun time touring the Castle grounds, and finding some beautiful scenery for the couples portraits. Shooting this wedding was like a dream come true for me, with such a beautiful location!

The evening was perfect, with a boat later picking us up for a Dinner Cruise Reception, touring The Thousand Islands and near by estates.

Heather & Evan: Thank you so much for allowing me to photograph your day! You were such a fun couple to work with, and I truly appreciated your willing spirits and joyfulness! I hope you enjoy your sneak peek!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bree & Tom: Engaged!

I met Bree at a Bridal show back in March, and we hit it off right away. I always love those brides that stop and look at every photo & ask lots of questions, excitement shining on their face. Bree was on of those brides.

Later, after meeting Tom, I knew this couple would be fun to work with. They are always laughing with each other, teasing, and so in love that you can't help but smile when you're around them. PLUS, they have the most adorable baby girl & she will make you smile too.

Tonight we met at Hamilton College for their engagement session, and despite the humidity, we had a lot of fun!

Congratulations on your engagement, guys! I'm excited for the wedding!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Grace & Joe: Married!

I first knew of Grace through her brother, JJ; back in our college days, when JJ & I both attended Roberts Wesleyan & ran in the same circle of friends. I remember hearing bits and pieces about his home, and knew he came from a close knit, fun-loving family.

So 6 years later, when Grace first approached me about photographing her wedding in Pittsburgh, I knew I wanted to do it. After many emails with Grace, learning about her & Joe through her words, my initial gut instinct was quickly confirmed, that yes, this couple was a good match for me, and yes, this wedding would be my honor to be a part of.

Last Friday I woke to storm clouds, and as I stretched out of bed, I prayed: "Dear God, please keep the rain away today." I've prayed that same prayer many wedding day mornings, and as always, God blessed us with a beautiful raindrop-free day. I met with Grace & her maids in the afternoon & we were off on a whirlwind of activity, joy & excitement!

Grace & Joe had planned to pray together before the ceremony, but knew they didn't want to see each other & had come up with a way for them to meet, hold hands, pray, and still keep hidden. It was a beautiful moment for me to witness, and set the tone for their ceremony ahead.

Grace & Joe's pastor gave a powerful invitation opening the service, inviting us to see God, to celebrate His faithfulness, and join with this couple in a heart of worship. I was brought to tears many times throughout the ceremony, which only increased when Grace's Dad lead them through their vows & gave his blessing over them. I left their ceremony with a full heart, knowing that indeed, God had been among us, and our time together that afternoon had been blessed.

The Bridal Party & I went on to a nearby park where we decided it was time to have a little fun. This group of guys & girls were so much fun to work with & I want to thank them for their willingness to try new things & enjoy themselves in front of the camera. I love when couples give me creative ground to work with, and I loved my time with Grace & Joe.

The evening was wrapped up with amazing dance moves, lots of laughter, sentimental tears & thoughtful toasts. It was clear that everyone in attendance loved this couple dearly, and truly entered into the celebration of their new life together.

Grace & Joe: Thank you for inviting me to capture your day. Thank you for sharing your life with me, and allowing me the pleasure of entering into your joy. God bless you on your path ahead, may you always seek Him first & know the power of His favor.

Happy honeymoon & enjoy this sneak peek!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chelsea & Brent: Sneak Peek!

Congratulations, guys! It was an honor to photograph your day!

Be sure to "like" Michelle S. Rose Photography & Design on Facebook to see more images!


Summer is here, and that means it's a perfect time to update your family photos!


Book your Session June-August & receive a 1 HOUR SESSION + ALL OF YOUR IMAGES on CD for 1 low price of $100!


*package originally priced at $250!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

DIY Boutonnieres!

Like so many brides these days, I have conquered our wedding preparations in full DIY style, making my own save the dates, invitations, reception decorations, neckties, flower arrangements & more!

It's a lot of fun doing things myself, with the help of my parents (yes, even Dad has gotten involved!) & maids. There's a sense of satisfaction knowing I've created these things for our wedding, giving personal attention to each tiny detail that I'm hoping will fulfill my dream wedding & be appreciated by our guests.

Today on my list of DIY projects was boutonniers! I forged ahead, with my silk flowers, floral tape, twine & wire cutters in hand!

I had previously chosen country-inspired silk flowers, so I snipped them to the desired length, wrapped them tight in floral tape & finished the look with wrapped twine. I love the country-chic effect, and I'm excited for my men to wear them! (I know they're thrilled too, haha!)

Signs of Summer

"Then followed that beautiful season...Summer....Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood." 

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I love this time of year. When the grass is bright kelly green, thick under my toes, and cool. I love when the birds sing at dawn, waking me hours earlier than in the winter. I love the colorful blooms that line my country roads, and the sweet smell of nature.

I know there's still a few weeks until it's officially summer, but I can taste it, and it's beautiful.

Cha cha cha changes...

My life has been full of changes lately, but let me assure you, everything is good.

For the past few years, my sole focus has been on my photography business. I was done with school, single, living back in my home town, and felt secure enough to throw everything I had into my photography. My evenings were spent researching, blogging, networking & trying to grow my business. Which, I'm proud to say I did.

Now in my third year of going solo, I'm proud of the work I've done, and the steps I've taken. I'm thankful for the people I've met, and the people who have encouraged me along the way. I set up a strong foundation for myself, and I know from here out, I'll only continue to grow upon that.

But for the last few months, my focus has shifted a bit.

In meeting Andrew, getting engaged, planning our wedding & preparing to be a (step) mom, my priorities have had to shift. My schedule now accommodates for softball games, family time & a lot of hours on the road driving between Binghamton & Utica.

It's been a busy time, a time full of changes, but let me assure you, everything is good.

You may ask, how are these changes effecting your business?

And my answer: not a whole lot.

I'm still focusing on my clients, still devoting my time to weddings, consultations and web presence. But I've let certain seasonal promotions pass, allowing me more time with my soon-to-be family. So if you've noticed that I'm not doing senior portraits, or family sessions as much, that is why. I've taken a small step back.

You may also be asking: What are the long term changes for your business?

And my answer: Also, minimal.

After September 1st, my business will be located outside of Binghamton, NY. Andrew is in the beginning stages of building me an in-home studio where I will be able to work, hold sessions, meet with clients & grow! I am so excited for this opportunity, and thankful for Andrew, and his support of my work, I know this will be a great blessing!

But because I started my business in Utica, I have a strong base here, and will continue to work here even though I will be living outside of Binghamton. So if you are a Utica area bride, don't let my move scare you, I will still be here frequently, and available to you any time.

Long term, I'm excited to be able to expand my client base into Binghamton, nearby Pennsylvania, & be able to reach more people. So if you're a Binghamton area bride, start spreading the word!

Exciting changes are taking place in my personal life & also my business, but I assure it, everything is good.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wedding Planning: What I've learned!

It's been a fun experience planning my wedding, but I don't think I'm like every other bride. I have a definite advantage having worked in the wedding industry for the last 4 years.

No, having my entire wedding planned within a month is definitely not normal, but it's very possible. The key for me was knowing what to do first, how to organize my thoughts/vision & lastly, and possibly the most important thing: remembering my own voice through the planning process.

So how did I do it? Let's break those last 3 things down a bit more:

1. What to do first?: Prioritize!

The key to prioritizing tasks is to first break your wedding day down into parts; focusing on choosing month, day, ceremony location, reception location & then taking each part and breaking it down into smaller sub groups such as: time of day, ceremony details and reception details. Once this is done, you will be able to see your day in it's entirety & you won't be stressed you out.

Breaking down your day, and conquering these first larger tasks will make you feel secure, allowing all the details to work themselves out and fall into place.

It may seem like a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end.

2. Organizing your thoughts/vision!

It's true, I am an over-organizer. I just can't help it, it's how I clear my brain. When my life is in perfect little sub-departments, I am at my happiest! haha! Though my organizational needs may seem crazy for day to day living, they are perfect for wedding planning!

So you've searched the web, read lots of blogs, flipped through wedding magazines, and you have all of these ideas floating around in your brain, what do you DO with them? How do you fit them all together?

Make a Wedding Folder.  

Mine is purple. And it's where I keep everything wedding related. I have a section for receipts, vendor information, guest list & to-do list. If it's wedding related, it's in my folder. I also carry my checkbook, calculator & pen in this folder, so I am always ready to wheel & deal. 

This folder will be your best friend & will help keep all of your thoughts in one place. 

3. Remembering your own voice: How to handle advice!

From the moment the news went up on Facebook that I was engaged, I have received ideas & opinions from everyone I've ever known & even some people I don't know! 

Everyone loves a wedding, and everyone wants to be involved, but the hard truth is: This is your wedding, and you deserve to have it the way you've always dreamed. Not the way your best friend, mother, or in-law always dreamed. 

This can be one of the hardest parts of planning a wedding, because no one wants to hurt anyone, or ignore someone's advice, but in the end, it really is up to you to enforce your vision and make your voice heard.

Get your family & friends involved, and once they see your vision, I promise they will want to support you in that. 

I'm certainly not an expert, but these are the things I've learned while planning, and I hope these thoughts will help one of you brides to be.

Happy Planning!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


 You may have noticed that I've been pretty absent from the blogging world lately. I've had quite a lot going on in my life, and I'm just now sitting down to process it all & express what's been going on in my heart.

The last two months have been quite a whirlwind for me. God has been working on my heart, stretching me, shaping me, forcing me to grow. Life can really change quickly, and the last few months have been a perfect testament to that.

I met a boy.

His name is Andrew, and when we first met, I wasn't so sure he was the guy for me. I had always pictured myself meeting a guy, becoming friends, dating, falling in love, getting married, buying a house, having kids & growing old together. In that order. In a neat little package. Wrapped up in a perfect little bow.

But Andrew was non of those things.

Andrew was a widower with two little girls. There was a greater responsibility, a greater calling, a greater risk. And I wasn't sure that I was the girl for the job.

That was late February.

In those first weeks I did a lot of crying. I cried because I felt so torn between what my heart was telling me I could do, and what society was telling me was normal. I cried for Andrew & the girls, and the pain they'd already been through. I cried because I doubted myself and my capabilities, and the fear of hurting them again broke my heart. 

But then I started talking it through with people who could offer me godly wisdom. I stopped thinking of just myself and those crazy plans I had made as a little girl. I started praying and asking God His opinion for my life, and started letting Him direct my heart, and my path.

And then I did a lot more crying, seeing just how good, gracious, faithful, and merciful my God was to bring this man into my life, and allow me the opportunity to love him, and be loved by him.

See, God works in mysterious ways, and has plans for us that we could never even dream for ourselves.

Just days before meeting Andrew, this is what I wrote in my journal: 

"...Because, like I said earlier, I was taught about God's love a long time ago, and even when my heart is broken, I still trust that He has a plan for me, and has a purpose for this stage in my life, for this time of singleness. I never give up hope in His plan, even on the hardest days. I may not have chosen this path, but I know He is still leading me, and will one day, bring me my hearts desire..."

Isn't it amazing to see how God is working for us, even when we don't know it, or can't see it? That is the most important thing about keeping hope in your heart. You never know what God has planned, so you can't give up.

So Andrew and I made the decision to move forward into a relationship. We decided we were in this together, and that if God wanted us to stay together, He was going to work it out & we were going to follow.

It didn't take long before we knew we were in love. Four dates to be exact. To some it may seem fast, but it felt perfect for us.

The important thing that you can't miss in this is that yes, by a worldly time line it was fast, but God's timing is not ours, and He had been working this out years before Andrew & I ever met.

It's truly a beautiful thing.

We started talking about wedding plans after date 4, knowing it was inevitable, just not knowing when. We made plans for next spring, but decided a year engagement wasn't necessary for us, and settled on this fall. I had most of the wedding planning done before he even proposed, and that became sort of a joke around the household.

But somewhere around date 5 Andrew came to talk to my parents, asked their blessing to marry me, and accepted my Grandma's engagement ring to have reset for me. We went ring shopping right away, and I'm not sure I've ever squealed more than I did that day looking at all the sparkle before me, it was great.

So I knew the engagement was coming, I just didn't know when.

So last week when I was on a random shopping trip to Barnes & Noble with my Mom, let me tell you how surprised I was to look up and see Andrew! Two hours away from where he was supposed to be that day, 2 days early for the date we had planned that week! I knew the minute I saw him why he had come, and my heart did flip flops inside my chest just thinking about it.

He brought me to a park we had visited before, and up to the gazebo, and knelt down on one knee and read me a letter he had written. I'm not sure I heard every word when he first read it to me, I think my head was swimming, but when he was done, he asked me to marry him, and I said yes.

It was the happiest moment of my life.

The date is set for September 1st, of this year.

I can hardly believe the twist my path has taken, but it's here and it's real, and God really does work in amazing ways.


After all these years of seeing other couples in love & helping other brides plan, it's finally my turn, and I am embracing every moment.

I tell you all of this to encourage you. Whatever path you find yourself on, never lose hope, and always know that God has a plan for your life, and He IS working it out.

I know the struggle of wanting to know the future right now, I know the frustration of wanting answers immediately, but the truth is, sometimes we have to wait.

And if there's anything I could tell you young single girls out there, it would be to wait for God's best for you. Don't settle for the world's best, don't settle for the wrong guy. God has a perfect plan for you, and it's worth the wait.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Devotional Break

I've always loved Charles Spurgeon. There's something about his direct speech that captures my attention, and though some people may find him harsh, I find his heart beautiful and inviting. I also appreciate how today's publishers have kept Spurgeon's orginal Old English, it somehow demands more respect in my opinion.

I loved this passage from today's devotional...they are hard demands, but expected of us just the same. And with the anniversary of a dear friends home-going today, the end of this devotional hit me in a different way, allowing me to picture Pat seated at the feet of Jesus, hearing 'Well done, good & faithful servant'...

We run this race only for a while, and though the demands on us may seem overbearing at times, we have such glory waiting for us in heaven.

Kind of makes you look at things differently, doesn't it?....


"...Be much more in prayer.
Spend longer time in holy adoration.
Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly.
Watch your lives more carefully.
Live nearer to God.
Take the best examples for your pattern.
Let your conversation be redolent of heaven.
Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men's souls.

So live that men may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus, and learned of Him; and when that happy day comes, when He whom you love shall say: 'Come up higher', may it be your happiness to hear Him say: 'Thou hast fought a good fight, thou hast finished thy course, and henceforth there is laid up for thee a crown of righteousness which fadeth not away..."  

- From 'Morning & Evening'- C.H. Spurgeon


Happy Wednesday! 

Remembering You...

Today marks a year since my friend, Pat, went to be with our LORD. Her home-going has been hard for a lot of people, but I know Heaven is happy to have her...

I bet she's growing sunflowers, and sharing her beautiful smile with everyone she sees. She may even be giving out old-fashioned, homemade Mainer remedies! haha! I'm remembering her today & thanking God for the time we had her here...

From my journal: March 14, 2011:

"The LORD gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of The LORD” - Job 1:21

This Friday morning I had the blessing of watching my third beautiful nephew enter this world. I heard his first cry, as fresh air entered his lungs. I saw his little face shy away from the light, and his ears turn towards the noises around him. My heart swelled with the wonder of this little baby before me, and in that moment I gave his little life over to our Father, praising Him for blessing our family with this little boy. I'm sure in the years ahead, there will be many more moments like this....when I'll need to give his care over to The God of Heaven, and acknowledge that He knows best, and that He loves this little one even more than we do...

Today I got home from work to discover a sadness in my home. A sadness that has gripped my heart, as I mourn the Home-going of a dear friend, and faithful saint. Pat has gone Home to Glory; and today, the angels are rejoicing as another child is welcomed into the Holy City, but here on Earth, tears are being shed. But because of Christ's loving sacrifice for us, I know that I can put Pat in His hands, knowing that she's safe right now, knowing that I'll see her again one day.

He gives and takes away. Blessed be the Name of The LORD.

A life is given, a life is taken. Blessed be the Name of The LORD.

At some point in life, we all have to decide to give our loved ones over to Christ. We have to put them in His hands, knowing that He is a merciful God, knowing that He is a good God, knowing that He is a loving God.

We have to trust His will, and trust that He is working everything out for the good. We have to keep living, we have to keep believing, even when everything within you is screaming out in pain.

We have to keep praising, blessed be the name of The LORD!

It's a lesson that I think I'll have to keep relearning as I continue on my journey, because every time something like this happens, it's natural to ask God 'why?'. It's natural to get angry, and wish for a different outcome. But as I get closer to my Jesus, I realize that He is crying right along side me, entering into my pain, and holding me up when I can't. He's walking beside me everyday, holding out His hand, and telling me to put my burden on Him. He's inviting me let go, inviting me to rest, inviting me to peace.

But the question is...will I trust Him enough, to take hold of that peace?

Can I truly say that in giving and taking away, the Name of The LORD shall be praised?

As we enter the Easter Season, I'm reminded of this song. It's always been a favorite of mine, and every yr as I watch the sun rise on Easter morning I imagine what it will look like one day when Jesus comes back, and the Heavens are opened up, and everyone will see His glory. What a beautiful day to look forward to!


Because He Lives:

"How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!"


Blessed be the Name of The LORD.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Glimpses of Spring!

I was working on a Senior Portrait project today, remembering the sweetness of summer, and while I was editing, something wonderful happened: the sun came out!

I love natural sunlight so much, and really crave it. That's one of the reasons I chose a room that faces the south west, so I get a lot of afternoon sun right on my desk.

The last few weeks have been unseasonably warm, but I will take it. These transitional days between seasons may only be a tease for now, but Spring isn't far away!

I'll leave you with a few of the images I worked on today. Eventually they will be part of an album, showcasing Megan's Senior Portraits, how fun!


The Last Bridal Show

This past Sunday was my last Bridal Show of the season. From October to March I pack in as many shows as possible, traveling around NY, getting my name out there.
So much of growing your own business is who you know, and getting out in the community & meeting people. I've met a lot of amazing people this year, and am so thankful to have had the opportunity to share my work, make friends, network with other vendors, and meet a lot of great couples. It's been a great season, and I'm now looking forward to Wedding Season & all that's ahead!

Thank you to all of  you who stopped by my booth, prayed for me, offered words of support & helped spread the word, you'll never know how much it means to me! 

I can't wrap up without a huge heartfelt thank you to my cousin, Brittany, who has helped me every show; giving up her entire day, lugging heavy bins, setting up & following my crazy instructions down the the tiniest detail, talking to clients, handing out brochures, giving me pep-talks, and helping me to relax. Brittany, your belief in me has helped me to believe in myself, and I thank God for you & our relationship.

RosMari Brand: Spring Collection

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of working with my cousin, Brittany, photographing her spring clothing line for RosMari Brand. Brittany & I had met weeks in advance to plan the shoot & I think we accomplished the look she was going for. It takes a lot of behind-the-scene work to make a shoot like this run smoothly, and I'm happy to say it all went off without a hitch!

Brittany & I first started our businesses around the same time, so I've enjoyed having her to bounce ideas off of, learn things with, and generally, be there to support one another. It's great to have a support system behind you!

If you haven't already, go give Brittany some love!
Enjoy just a peek at all the different looks available!

Thanks so much to all the models who participated & those who helped make this a successful shoot! 

Happy Spring!