Hello and welcome! I have recently relocated to Portland, Maine from Rochester, Minnesota and serve the wedding and portrait photography needs of Maine, Minnesota and beyond. This is the place to check out my most recent work and to get a glimpse into my life. Feel free to take a look around, I'd love to connect with you!

Emily Griffith

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05.25.12 | blog, families, guests

Brandon, Heather, Max + Milo

HOW TO TAKE THE “PERFECT” FAMILY PHOTO

What started as a fun hobby taking pictures turned into a full time profession of making photographs.  Over the years, I have spent a lot of time contemplating why I do what I do and how to make the transition from taking photos to making photographs.  Ultimately, I want to make artistically and technically beautiful photos but I also feel a responsibility to document the connections between people, to create images that communicate the crazy, chaotic and yet beautiful life to new parents now and to their grown children later.  So how do I make that happen?  Certainly, it is my job to facilitate an environment that makes my subjects feel comfortable, to provide suggestions for clothing, location, time of day, poses, etc, etc. Of course I need to know my equipment, I need to recognize good light and I need to be able to shoot fast (specifically with those speedy little 2 year olds…)  Perhaps most important of all is to be open and aware of emotions and the nuances of relationships.  But I also rely on my subjects for a variety of things and  there’s no better way to share that perspective than through the eyes of one of my favorite subjects….plus she’s way better with words that I am!

Thank you, Heather Ritenour-Sampson for sharing your beautiful perspective:

A few weeks ago, Emily came over and took pictures of me, my husband and our two boys. At the end of the shoot, we literally looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and said “well, we can always shoot again another day.” The shoot was “less than perfect.” Not because of the talent of the photographer (obviously), but more due to the willingness of the children to “smile pretty” for the camera. We were under a time crunch and light was fading, along with the boys’ temperaments. Big brother wanted to do nothing more than make toothless growly faces, while hanging upside down on the swing. Little brother wanted to run, slide, and stay as far away from big (annoying, poking, needling) brother as possible. Meanwhile Dad (just home from work), and Mom (with kids all day) tried to rope in the cattle, line up the troops, you get the picture. Then Emily sent these pictures of the shoot, with the idea that we share our collaborative tips on how to take the “perfect” family photo. Because whatever happened in that hour worked, despite how we thought things went (see photos).

So here it goes:

1. Get over getting a perfect family photo. The best pictures don’t come from orchestrating perfectly matched outfits, or because the background is breathtaking, or because everyone in the picture is in palpable harmony. The obsession with getting a perfect photo leads to stress, which leads to not smiling, or fake smiles, which definitely don’t make for lovely photographs.

2.  Stay in the moment. Breathe. Smile. Enjoy. Acknowledge that the camera is there, of course, but try not to consider it an intrusion. Think of the presence that you give that little round capturer of light and shadow, as a gift. Let the camera decide what to do with your presence. Just stay present, stay in the moment, with your family. Not everyone needs to be looking at the camera for it to be a great picture. If everyone is looking at the camera, it will catch it. But let go of directing the shoot. Stick together, try different things, but do what works in the moment, not what you think SHOULD happen, or what it SHOULD look like.

3. Go with the flow. Be flexible. Welcome humor. If one of your kids (or kid, or dog, or partner) is acting a little nuts, let them get over it on their own. Give them a little space. The minute they feel pressure from you to change their behavior, especially in front of a lovely doe-eyed lady like Emily, and especially if they are boys (as the mother of only boys, I like to fantasize that photo shoots with families of only daughters work like a dream), they are going to go in the OPPOSITE direction of what you intend. So if one kid makes a crabby face, join them, and maybe the family photo of everyone with crabby faces turns out the cutest, who knows!

4. Don’t make any assumptions. Don’t make assumptions about what your kids/partner/dog will or won’t do in front of a camera, or what does/doesn’t look good. They will surprise you. You will surprise yourself. Let the photographer and the camera take care of the angles. Come into the shoot with an open mind. Give each person in the shoot space to try something fun, new, different, sassy, wild, quiet, calm, or strange (within the assumed realm of decent human appropriateness, of course)! Release your inner critic!

5. Trust your photographer (especially if it’s Emily). The minute that you start doubting whether or not the photographer is going to get a great picture, whether or not the background is right, whether or not they know what they are doing, the less “in the moment” you are, and the harder it is for said photographer to capture you and your beautiful family in an authentic, honest, beautiful moment.

6. Remember you ARE beautiful! There is nothing more needed than you showing up. Sure, polish up a bit, but don’t overdo it. Be yourself… Because Emily doesn’t take ugly pictures, or take pictures of ugly people. All she needs is a moment, a camera, and YOU!



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05.24.12 | blog, guests, my life

Food Revolution in review

The first ever Food Revolution Day took place last Saturday, a day dedicated to standing up for, and celebrating, real food.  My friend Amy Sapola organized the Food Revolution Rochester MN group and I tagged along with her as we explored the Rochester Farmer’s Market, interviewing vendors and photographing the goods.  First, we met Kelly from Prosper Valley Farm in Wykoff, MN. She is easy to find at the market because she brings a school bus full of plants, eggs, veggies, and even goat to the market!  Next, we talked with the folks from Easy Yoke Farm, Hannah, Daniel, and baby Paul.  Hannah said what she likes best about selling produce at the market is that it connects them with people and is rewarding to see people excited about what they have been working so hard to grow.  Hannah said, “we couldn’t do what we do if it wasn’t for such a supportive community in Rochester.”  Finally, we talked with Joe from Earthen Path Organic Farm.  He said without hesitation that his favorite vegetable to grow is heirloom tomatoes.  He explained there are so many nuances of flavors and different varieties of the plants that he really enjoys trying them and talking with customers about the different options. I asked Joe what he enjoyed most about the Downtown Rochester Farmers market and he said he enjoys the customer interaction and how gratifying it is to see people excited about your hard work!  A special thanks to Dave, the Rochester Farmer’s Market Manager who was so welcoming and helpful in showing us around!  Be sure to check out their Facebook page and Twitter too!

Later Saturday evening, we enjoyed an amazing Chef’s Tasting Menu at Sontes.  During dinner, we were able to visit with Jamie Oliver live via Google+ Hangout (you can watch the full conversation here!)  These events in Rochester were a small part of the greater movement…there were 664 cities and 62 countries that organized over 1,000 real food events!

If you’d like to learn more about the Rochester Food Revolution, you can email Amy, check out the movement on Facebook or Twitter: @FoodRevRochMN.



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05.15.12 | blog, guests, my life

In Support of a Revolution

This Saturday, May 19 is Global Food Revolution Day.  This day is about bringing people who love food together to share information, talents and resources; to pass on their knowledge and highlight the world’s food issues.  Food Revolution Day is about connecting with your community through events at schools, restaurants, local businesses, dinner parties and farmers’ markets. We want to inspire change in people’s food habits and to promote the mission for better food and education for everyone.  We need to get back to the basics and start thinking about where our food comes from.  We need to become a conscious community and understand the food choices we make on a daily basis. We can do this by improving food education.

My friend Amy Sapola is organizing the Food Revolution Rochester MN group and wrote a fantastic guest blog post on Sontes blog.  Saturday morning, you can find me tagging along with her as we explore the Rochester Farmer’s Market, interviewing vendors and photographing the goods.  Then on Saturday evening, Sontes is offering a Chef’s Tasting Menu.  They’ve put together an exclusive tasting menu for the evening, full of local, sustainable, organic, or biodynamic ingredients.  Please join us in the conversation about real food as we take steps towards a healthier lifestyle.  Watch for a recap with lots of photos following this weekend!

If you’d like to learn more about the Rochester Food Revolution, you can email Amy, or check out the movement on Twitter: @FoodRevRochMN.


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04.13.11 | blog, guests, products

Canvas Crazy

Alrighty, it’s my favorite time…yep, time to pawn my blogging off on someone else!  If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, chances are you’ll recognize Teri and her family (OK, mostly Kai!) from several shoots.  You might also notice that Kai has had newborn, 3, 6, 9, and soon to be 12 month photos taken.  This photo session schedule is part of my Newborn-First Year Collection which includes 5 photos sessions during the first year as well as a coffeetable book with images from each session.  But that’s not the point of this post….REDIRECTING!  Teri is a self proclaimed “Crazy Canvas Lady” and has the walls to prove it!

Here’s Teri (and Kai!)  Take it away!

I used to THINK I liked photos more than most.  I had photos in frames on my dresser, collages of photos on my walls, home made picture calendars for each year, photo albums, and I carried more pictures in my wallet than most put up in their house.

Now I KNOW I like photos more than most.  I still have frames on my dresser and on the shelves in my home, have currently 568 photos on my iphone, and I should purchase a terabyte hard drive for Emily to store all of the photos she’s taken of my family in the last 5 years!

Not only has she taken photos of my most treasured moment’s, (here and here and here) but she’s encouraged me to try new ways of displaying them.  Thus, bringing me to my canvas addiction…

We started with a few canvases of Moxy!

A 10 x 20 and three 6 x 6 cubes:

Then with a little nudge…. “are you sure it won’t be too big?!?”

…a 20 x 24 of my favorite engagement session photo with Mike:

Then I went a little bigger with a 30×40 of our favorite wedding photo.   A canvas of Kai at his 3 month photo shoot was added as a complement.  Both are taken on the same couch at the Rochester Art Center.

Then…. I needed something as breath taking as the photo taken on Fort Myers Beach for Kai’s 6 month shoot.  Well….this 40 x 60 canvas takes your breath away that’s for sure!

And then the latest 24 x 36 canvas to document Kai’s obsession with showers at his 9 month shoot.

I admit, I’m a canvas crazy…..the bigger the better!  I guarantee you’ll fall in love if you try one at your house!  What better way to decorate your home than with art you can call your very own!  I only hope I don’t run out of walls!

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12.03.10 | cards, guests, products

Candace’s Christmas Cards are Complete!

Hey party people,

I’m like dust.  No matter how hard you work to be rid of me, I just keep floating back into your life.  So, take 5 seconds out of your day and keep reading, okay?

I just wanted to take this important opportunity, while you all are gathered eagerly around me, and say…

B    O    O    Y    A    H.

My Christmas cards are done.  And they are cool and lovely and slammin’ and all that plus a bag of chips.  See?

Front:

Inside Spread:

Inside Flap:

Back:

Ready to be mailed:

Mailed!

If you are steaming with jealousy, I totally understand.  Because even I’m a wee bit jealous of the Organized Christmas Candace.  She is not someone I have met before.  And I have a feeling she’ll be skipping town shortly.

Don’t fret, the Christmas Card runway is getting shorter but you’ve still got some road to work with.  Let Emily guide you in to a safe landing.  I’ll leave you with that weird analogy and hope that we don’t run into each other at JCPenny and you ask me about it.

Love and candy canes,

Candace

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11.17.10 | cards, guests

The Candace is back

Hello there, Internets.  Emily and her generous heart, have invited me to to take up more bandwidth on her sparkly blog with a second installment of my jibber jabber.  Can you believe it??  So, here I am.  Dust off your Hazmat suits on and enjoy the ride.

Back, when I first forced our friendship, I confessed to you my current Life Fails.  Yes, you know what I mean.  Those delicious Christmas cards that are vital to keeping my epic fronting alive.  I made you a little promise and even though I am fairly unreliable, I followed through like I never could with my golf swing.

Emily roused us for a chilly, pre-work, morning photo shoot, which was a very fancy detour from my tired and uneventful life.  I was concerned briefly that I might not be able to put my friendly face on this early without colossal resistance (and coffee) but Hubs told me I looked hot in my own, runny nose type way, and so that was that.  I should let her work do the talking because, in all honesty, I talk too much for my own good anyway.

Aren’t they nice?  And I don’t even look like I am tore up from the floor up.  Hey, do people even say that anymore?

Anyway, Emily’s going to fashion these pics into something very lovely and I can’t wait to send them off to friends and family.  That way, I can keep my wretchedly stuffy and humdrum days a covert operation for one more year.  But before I bid you a good one, I’ll leave you with these powerful reminders of my awkwardness.  I’m sorry.  I hope we can still be friends.

Love and fist pumps,
Candace


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10.07.10 | blog, guests

It’s a Fall World After All

Hi there.  You probably don’t know me and maybe that’s a good thing.  When Emily invited little old me to be a guest blogger, I was honored and so petrified that my hair highlights faded five times faster than usual.  I told her “I’d love to write a little ditty on your blog!” in my cheery voice and then, I went home, drank copious amounts of wine and haven’t slept well since.

I’m Candace.  I’ve been brainstorming big words to use in hopes you’ll be so enamored by my intellect and poetic prose that you will want to be my Facebook friend (no, don’t worry, I don’t expect that you’ll want to be my actual friend).  Here is the list of words I came up with.  Let me know if any subsequent enamoring happens.

queue
bloated
conundrum
carpel tunnel
nomenclature
dilapidated

No?  Didn’t work?  Ok.  I don’t even know what half of those words mean.  The other half are maladies that I have been battling since joining the Over 30 Club.  Let’s move on.  I have another list.  About Fall.  Because it’s a Fall World After All.

Fall weather shimmied in and I can finally stash away those cellulite shaking shorts (my capris) while the world (and my neighborhood) rejoices.  I’m so looking forward to it and here’s why.

1.  Halloween.  Halloween brings the usual excitement like pumpkin carving (knives!), costume parties, and an excuse to try to once again convince the Hubs that’s it’s okay to buy this 10lb bag of candy from Costco because this year I really promise NOT to shut off all the lights and eat it by myself in the garage until my stomach balloons up into my lungs, leaving me gasping for air.  No, this year will be different.  Instead, I’ll have this bag finished off before Halloween, we’ll still shut off all of the lights, get take-out and go to bed at 8.30pm.

2.  The charming changing color of the leaves.  No, let me be real.  It’s the cooler weather that comes along with it, allowing me to once again sport long sleeves and not risk reliving the horror of that one time this summer when I waved excitedly at my girlfriend in JCPenneys and my underarm is the only thing that waved back.  And then, that girlfriend unfriended me on Facebook.  Remember?  Things like that don’t happen as often in the fall when I’m wearing long sleeves.

3.  Reed diffusers in those new yummy scents.  Spiced Apple Carmel Nutmeg Chocolate Goo with notes of Irish Cream and Twinkies.   They make the house smell like I’ve been a Baking Genius in the kitchen. When in actuality, the last thing I baked is my arm hair during an unfortunate mishap while warming up a disgusting Lean Cuisine.

4.  Pajama pants.  With elastic waistbands.  We all know what that means.

5.  Christmas cards.  I know.  You are confused.  Let me explain.  Turns out, the only recipe I manage to follow successfully is the Annual Recipe for Christmas Card Disaster.  Without fail, mid December ambushes my already frazzled strung out person and reminds me that, unlike the rest of the world that is happily filling my mailbox with well organized holiday cheer, I have not given any thought to mailing out my own Christmas cards.  Clearly, my Life is a Fail.  Panic sets in.  I don’t want the world to know my dirty little secret (that my Life is a Fail) and so with clenched teeth, I lock myself in my office to painstakingly draft up a letter fabricating how yet another incredibly stellar year of my semi-charmed life has come to an end and how I totally look forward to the fresh new year and what joy it will undoubtedly bring (besides the threat of weight gain, wrinkles, and grungy carpets that need to be replaced).  As if that wasn’t a difficult enough task, this little snippet of My Life in the Fab Lane ends up having hateful formatting and the Clip Art I have carefully selected imports in as the size of plankton AND the photos I have chosen are terrible self timer pictures (that nicely accentuates my moon crater pores) which, by the way, instigate an all out Photo Versus Text Hostage Situation (the photos, not my pores) that leaves me cursing like a sailor at my printer (it apparently takes holidays off) until I have come completely undone and surrender by smashing the whole shabang into the office closet, storm downstairs, pull out all of the frozen Christmas cookies from my perfect Mother In Law and eat myself into a cookie coma in front of reruns of Jersey Shore.  Then, I make a promise out loud to the the barren freezer, pile of unused creepy Nutcracker stamps, and the rest of the Merry Crappy Christmas Chaos that taunts my very existence , “I swear, NEXT YEAR, I’m doing my Christmas cards in October!”.  Typically, I sleep the days away and then have to take a day off of work in January to finish the buggers up and mail them out in increments of three.  Those are called Happy New Year cards.  The shame.

This year, I mean it.  I’m saving myself the misery and Hubs the damage control by delegating this task to someone who actually knows what they are doing.  Emily.  I’m going make the Hubs shower and we are going to get our photos taken while the remnants of my Norwegian Tan still exist, before the pretty leaves shrivel up into Death itself, and I can still fit into pants that zip.   Afterward, Emily will work her photo and card crafting magic while I kick back with some spiked apple cider and episodes of Glee.  My Christmas cards will be ready.  And you will, by golly, get them before 2010 grows a 1.

Happy Fall, y’all.  Please promise to come back to Emily’s blog even though you found a squatter here today, ok?  If there is a next time, which there won’t be, I promise to keep the incomplete sentences and overuse of capitalization to a minimum.  But the run-ons, I’ll keep those.  They are all I’ve got.

Love and kisses,

Candace

P.S.  I have a blog too, which my Mom reads so you don’t have to:  thecandace.com

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10.06.10 | dogs, guests

Guest blogger…coming soon!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but lately, I’ve really been slacking when it comes to blogging.  You’ve heard “I AM going to catch up on my blogging soon” about 3487 times.  (See yesterday’s post…)  So, I’ve  given myself an ultimatum.  Either catch up or pawn it off on someone else.  And clearly, pawning it off was the better option.  Stay tuned…

In other news, Ike is cute.

*Photo of this crazy dog was taken on my point and shoot camera.

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07.02.10 | blog, guests

the candace

I have this neighbor-turned bride-turned friend, who one day is going to be a big deal.  And she started a blog. And she started blogging.  And she needed photos for said blog.  She is CA-UTE.

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