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

03.02.14 | my life, photo talk

My Project 52 l 8

clara 0121.jpg

I want to remember…my speedy little crawler.  She started off slow and wobbly but now she moves with lots of determination and precision.  Didn’t she just start doing this?!?!  I know these days are numbered…  Slow down, time!  And Clara!

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10.03.11 | photo talk

ARTWALK + studio photos

Last Thursday we participated in our first ever ARTWALK!  It was tons of fun and gave us a good deadline to get stuff around the studio finished…finally!  And we pushed it right to the end…the electrician literally left at 4:49 and the first ARTWALK folks started showing up at 5:05.  Whew.  But it’s done for now and we couldn’t be happier.  We were SO HAPPY to have Brandon and Heather Sampson (The Dovetailers) playing…they were amazing!  (hear them again at the next Americana Showcase concert on October 26).  A big THANK YOU to Cameron from Electrical Solutions for getting my crazy lighting project done just in time and a big THANK YOU to everyone who attended!  I’m working on a “before and after studio” post but for now, here’s the finished product!  Happy Monday!

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06.15.11 | blog, photo talk

Old + New

It seems like we were just moving into our new space.  Well, that new space just became the old space.


Yup, we’re moving a whole block away!  In fact, today is moving day and leave it to me to move on a wet, rainy day.  And oh yeah, in the middle of wedding season!  And leave it to me to feel super nostalgic and yes, a little sad on a happy and exciting day.  Don’t get me wrong, I am SO EXCITED to move into our beautiful new space.  It’s on the street level of Broadway with great natural light, hardwood floors and exposed brick.  It is beautiful and so is the potential that comes along with it.  But I don’t like goodbyes.  So I’m certain there will be a tear as we close the door to the old office.  Lots of good things happened there.

We’ll be having another open house at the new studio on August 4 but if you’re in the area before then, stop by and say hi!  Here’s a little preview of the new digs.  Until we get settled, I’ll be working from here.  Or at least trying to…

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03.28.11 | my life, photo talk

iPhone life

I rarely go anywhere without my camera, or at least a camera of some sort.  And I do count the camera on my iPhone.  Though I do enjoy shooting for myself, it’s often not practical to carry a huge camera around all the time and sometimes, it’s nice to disconnect for awhile.  But I cannot turn off my camera brain very easily and I constantly see things I think are pretty or inspiring or that I want to remember so out comes the iPhone.

I love how imperfect it is and I love how I don’t feel the need to Photoshop it and how I have the most everyday moments recorded so I don’t forget the random days in between the bigger and more documentable days.  And let’s face it, Ike does something really cute at least twice a day and I certainly don’t want to forget that.

I have two favorite photo apps for my iPhonography :  ShakeItPhoto and Pocketbooth.

These are from our most recent trip to the Bahamas and were made using the ShakeItPhoto app.  The best part about it, you really do have to shake your phone.  And consider yourself warned: it is impossible to do this and not get the “shake it like a polaroid picture” part of that OutKast song stuck in your head.

And these are from a random day made on PocketBooth:

Cheers to capturing ordinary life!

p.s. After you accumulate over 800 photos on your phone, it tends to run reeeeeally slow.  I’m just saying…

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03.21.11 | blog, photo talk


A little more shop talk!  I took a few photos of my #1 model to demonstrate different lens focal lengths (or mm’s as I like to call them).  I sat in the same spot and simply used a different lens each time.

14-24mm : In the upper left photo, I used my 14-24mm lens which is a very wide lens.  This is great to show the environment or when you need to be physically close to your subjects.  I use this lens a lot at wedding dances so I can be in the midst of all the dancing action and show what’s actually going on and not just an up close view of peoples’ nostrils.  This is usually not a great portrait lens.  Because it is so wide, faces get distorted easily and typically, that’s not so flattering.  I do love this lens a lot and use it to get photos like this:

50mm : I love the 50mm because it has an aperture of 1.4 whereas most of my other lenses are 2.8.  That extra f-stop is SO NICE when the gray MN winter days seemingly lack any bits of light.  I also am a sucker for shallow depth of field, especially with little kids’ eyes.  After the 24-70mm, this is probably the lens I use the most.  Though it’s not as fast as some of my other lenses, I do love it and think it is a GREAT lens for the price.  Here’s Aria on the 50mm:

24-70mm : The 70mm shot was taken on my 24-70mm lens which is my “go to” lens.  I use this lens A LOT.  Fast moving kids, bride and groom portraits, group shots at weddings, dogs, pretty much anything.  It is fast, sharp and versatile.  Many of the photos you see on my website and blog were taken with this lens.

70-200mm : The 200mm shot was taken on my 70-200m lens.  I use this for almost all wedding ceremonies so I can stay far away and not be disruptive.  Sometimes I will use it at the beginning of engagement sessions or high school senior sessions when people aren’t quite comfortable with me being right up in their face yet!  🙂  I generally like to be closer to my subjects so I don’t use this much for portrait work and find that it is nearly impossible to use this lens with kids because I always find myself pretty close to them.  Plus, it’s really heavy and I get kinda wimpy after awhile.  🙂

There’s the 2 cents I have on focal lengths!  Let me know if you have questions!  🙂

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03.14.11 | blog, photo talk


I’m guilty.  Of having big ideas, crazy dreams, and lofty goals and intending to do them but then not.  The excuses range from not enough time, more important work to do, etc, etc.  Which was the case for my idea to post more technical photo talk stuff here.  I got overwhelmed with where to begin and starting doubting that I actually had any useful info to share!  But I figure the best way to start is at the beginning and equipment seems like a good beginning so here we go.

“A year from now, you will wish you had started today.” –Karen Lamb

This is where I began:  I took a film photography class in college and started learning about aperture, shutter speed, focus and depth of field, film speed, developing my own black and white film, printing my own pictures, and how to start noticing light, texture, repetition, space, etc. through a viewfinder.  At this point, I was totally confused and frustrated with the aperture numbers and all technical stuff but I loved shooting, spending time in the darkroom and seeing the end result.  That excitement was enough to keep me going and after A LOT of shooting, the technical stuff started making sense.  I cannot imagine learning photography on a digital camera with all those buttons and options and knobs.  Overwhelming!  In my opinion, a basic film camera is the best place to start.  You are forced to focus on the basics and cannot be distracted by the option to shoot on auto or push a button and get a cool effect.

Photography class notes and homework:

The contact sheet from my very first roll of film that I shot, developed and printed myself.  Pretty sure I thought they were amazing.   

My binder full of contact sheets and rolls of film:

Though film is a beautiful thing, I know digital is typically the more practical option now, especially for those of you who just want to take better pictures of your kids or for your own personal use.  Darkroom access is not widely available and after the initial investment of a camera body, lens and computer, there are not many additional costs as there is with film.  So naturally, that is the way I progressed.  The first digital camera I bought was a Nikon D70 with a 18-70mm lens.  SA-WEET!  I thought it was the greatest camera EVER.  This was the camera that I shot my very first wedding on with my friend Molly.  I think we made $75 each!  🙂  After about 2 years I upgraded to the Nikon D200 and the 85mm 1.8 lens and I felt like I had a whole new lease on life.  It was during the life of this camera where I really became serious about being a photographer.  About a year and a half after the D200 purchase, I upgraded to the Nikon D3 and have been shooting that for about 3ish years.  Here is what the inside of my camera bag looks like today:

And here the outside of my bag!  I actually have 2 bags:  A rolling suitcase as well as a shoulder bag.  This is is the rolling suitcase, which I love.  It is a Think Tank Airport Security V 2.0 and it is perfect for traveling or when I want to take pretty much all of my gear.  My only complaint is that I can’t fit my laptop in it but then it probably would be too big for a carry on airplane bag.

And the shoulder bag I have is the Tamrac Pro 12:

I take this to most of my portrait sessions and Ike is always suspicious of what I’ve been up to when I get home, especially when I’ve been photographing a family with a dog:

I’m talking about my equipment because it is a small piece of me and it is necessary to have in order to be a photographer.  However, it’s only a tool and if you don’t know how to use the tool, it won’t work well for you.  So, I want to stress the importance of learning the basics about photography before getting wrapped up in having the best camera.  I am a huge advocate for starting with the most basic equipment and upgrading only after you feel that you are being limited by your gear.

So, what camera would I recommend for a beginner?  I, of course, will always recommend a Nikon because that is what I learned on and what I am most familiar with.  The Canon and Nikon debate is sort of fun to have but really, they both are great products that basically do the same thing so it pretty much comes down to your own preference.  If you like graphs and charts and number things, Flickr has a handy little camera finder resource here. I think getting a basic body with a better lens is a great place to start.  The guys at West Photo in Minneapolis are really great and know waaaay more than I do about all the options out there.

So there you have it, my equipment timeline and a small part of my journey into the photo world.  I certainly would argue that other experiences (non equipment related) were far more important and perhaps I’ll touch on those later on.  Now THAT, is a LONG story.  🙂

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02.03.11 | blog, photo talk


One of my 2010 goals that has now carried over into 2011 goals, is to blog more.  And blog more than just pretty pictures.  Yes, still lots of weddings and babies and kids and families and dogs but more than that too.  More of Ike, more of us, more of life, more random stuff and more photo talk.  So since we are in the heart of another Minnesota winter, I thought I would write a little bit about light.  Or maybe about the lack of light.

I photograph a lot of kids/people in their own environments which means I end up inside peoples’ homes a lot.  Inside = dark.  When I enter someone’s home, I immediately notice where the windows are which generally means where the “nice light” is.  I almost always put my back to the window and have the subject face towards the window.  Noticing where your light source is and then adjusting where you are shooting in relation to the light source is a very basic and easy way to make your photos look a million times better, even on a point and shoot camera.  This example shows the difference between having the subject face the window (on the left) versus me facing and shooting against the window (on the right).  I think it’s always best to have the subject face the window.  From the expression on this little girls face in the corresponding photos, I think she agrees with me.

And this shows just how much I love having my back to the window:

So as long as we are on the photo talk subject, was this a helpful post?  Were you like, duh that is old news?  I certainly will never claim that my way is the right way but if I can shed even a little light (pun intended) on the topic of photography to any of my blog readers (whom I love!), that would make me happy.  So if you have a burning photography question or would like to me blog about a certain topic like shooting on manual, post processing, photographing kids, etc, etc, would you leave me a comment or send a message?  I’d be thrilled to have some blogging ideas!

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10.18.10 | blog, photo talk


Any guesses as to how heavy my camera is?

My guess: 15lbs.

Reality: 4-9lbs. (depending on the lens)

How about the entire camera bag?

My guess: 55lbs.

Reality:  33lbs.

I never was good with numbers.

Anyway, I figured if I have about 15 weddings per year and spend about 8 hours at each wedding, that means I’m lifting 6.5lbs for 120 hours each year.  Not counting all my baby/kid/family sessions…

Nonetheless, my main question is where are my Michelle Obama arms?!?!

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08.24.10 | blog, photo talk

Studio tour

OK, here is the online tour of the new space!  Feel free to stop by and we give you a real, live tour too!  This is the outside of our building.  We’re up on the third floor of the Merchants Exchange Building.

Lobby directory.  Who needs to dot i’s anymore?  (not that I am picky or anything…)

Almost inside!

Welcome!  This is the main viewing space BEFORE it was Emily-ized.

Who knew there were 3459873 shades of grey?  Final choice was “Elephant Skin”, primarily because of the name.  I think if the photography thing doesn’t work out, I’d like to go into naming paint colors.

Respective office doors.

Let the painting begin!  Ike was bored supervising.

Break time!

First coat is done!

Lookin’ good!  (The paint job, not us!)

Elephant skin was nice but needed something more…enter Tequila Lime!  It’s not just lime, it’s L.I.M.E.!!!!  More on this later…

Finished product!

Another view.

Starting over with some more “before” pictures this time facing the entrance.  “Will the TV fit?” was Justin’s biggest concern…


The dog wall!

My office looking slightly cleaner than normal.  I apparently forgot to take “before” pictures of the offices.  

Remember Tequila Lime?  Here it is in all its’ glory.  Yep, definitely lime.

Justin’s office:

And from the other angle:

Canvas and card samples.And that concludes the online office tour!  Let me know if you want the in person office tour!

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08.23.10 | blog, photo talk

Recap :: The Open House

Thank you.  Thank you for stopping by the open house.  Thank you for your kind words and well wishes.  Thank you for sending flowers and cards.  Thank you for helping prepare food and decorate and cross things off to-do lists.  Thank you for driving a long way to get here.  Thank you for staying late and laughing.  Thank you for helping eat leftovers the next day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Truth be told I was worried no one would show up.  That I would be left to eat the cheesecake all by myself (yes, that would be a great bad thing).  But I am so happy and appreciative to you all for stopping by.  I had so much fun and hope you did too.  I took lots of pictures before things got started and then after people started coming, the camera was forgotten…. 🙁  Thanks to Kelsey, my very wonderful intern for some of these pictures!

Limemades for all!

Justin’s mom was the master caterer for the event!  She did an awesome job!

The winners (yes, I decided to draw 3 names instead of just one!) of the free photo session are Jeff and Jodi Bell, Emily Reuter, and Ollie Lepper!

The one “people photo” of the night! Me and my favorite Kai!  And no, I don’t usually hold babies this awkwardly…

The gorgeous flowers were done by my good friend Heather…contact her for all your wedding and other floral needs!

Aren’t they amazing?
Once again, thank you for celebrating our new space with us!  Photos of the entire space coming tomorrow!

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