Tag Archives: love

Maternity and Family Photos

22 Jun

Now that the world has opened up a bit after 15 months of covid-lockdown, I’ve been blessed to photograph several families. Its been so much fun to run around with kids and shoot people loving each other in gorgeous light.

I love what I do. And dang it, I just adore this couple and their maternity shoot. Big congrats to them now that their baby boy has arrived!

Thinking you need photos done of your family, newborn, etc? Shoot me a message, I’d be happy to talk!


13 Jul



I’m giving away an 11×16 version of this Nubble Light sunrise. To qualify, you need to go do something nice for your fellow humans and send me a picture. Free hugs, bring some donuts to your local police department, compliment a stranger, defend someone who needs you to stand up for them….help and love, those are the objectives. Send your story and photo to me at seespotsphoto@yahoo.com

With all of the terrible, divisive things going on in our country, I keep asking myself, “What can I do to help? To foster love and respect between people? To help heal? WHAT CAN I DO?” (It’s an important question, one that I hope we all can ask ourselves.)

Last week, my friend Mike (http://www.mikemezphotography.com/) put this idea together, and I loved it. Please, help spread the love by telling friends and sharing this post. Lets make this world a better place together. If you’re a local photographer or business, I encourage you to do something within your means to also foster love with whatever tools you have at your disposal too. 🙂


Choose Life, Choose Love

18 Jun

Emerge :: VT

Emerge :: VT

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” – MLK, Jr.


The Charleston shooting is horrifying and tragic on so many levels.  I find most violence difficult to swallow, and this even more so because the victims were spending their energy on prayer.  It is just one of many world-wide incidents that continue to sadden and frustrate me.


It saddens me that one human can feel so filled with hate, fear, a need to feel power over another, etc that he or she can feel justified in taking the lives of another living being.  At what point do we sit down and have a talk with our children about the root causes of violence?  At what point do we address the fear and the hate, regardless of its source, that we hold in our own hearts?  At what point do we encourage love instead?  At what point do we take and expect personal accountability for our actions?  At what point do we acknowledge the wrongs done to us personally, and accept that one incident doesn’t need to define us OR our interactions with people who weren’t involved?  At what point do we base our assessment of a fellow human on their character and actions alone?  At what point do we ask our fellow citizens to take a look at themselves and do the same?


It frustrates me that these continued acts of violence are polarizing our country, when the only way to bring about equality for every human is through unified purpose.  There is only one race.  No matter where you were raised, your gender, what circumstances you were born into, what religion you embrace or whom you fall in love with, we are all brothers and sisters.  You don’t have to like your siblings to respect their rights to live, to choose, to opportunity and to peace.


I am afraid for our country and our world.  I think a lot about the brave, vocal leaders our world has seen who have worked tirelessly to advocate for their fellow man.  Beacons of love, equality, education, acceptance and understanding like MLK, Ghandi and Mother Theresa have been bright lights in the dark and violent history of mankind.  When do we take it upon ourselves to light our own candles?  When do we put aside our differences and embrace civility?


The path to peace is built on equality, and paved with both determination and hard work.  The cost of living in a society is responsibility.  On a personal level, you are responsible for your thoughts, your actions and your willingness to work towards a better life.  But there is more to it than that.  Ultimately, choosing to live in a society means you are part of a whole.  There must be an understanding that your choices affect the people around you.  If you choose to live in a way that negatively impacts the people around you, including encouraging hate and fear in others (including your children), what incentive is there for society to continue to support you?  Even if you choose not to actively raise other people up, you have a responsibility not to tear them down.


Our actions now will shape the future.  There is no need to drag around the choking weight of hatred, misunderstanding and intolerance…they only serve to poison your life.  You can acknowledge and respect our collective history while still choosing to rise above unhealthy fears.  You will find the world to be a brighter place when you are working towards a better tomorrow.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of all of these sort of tragic events around the world.  #PrayersForCharleston

Give Thanks

25 Nov

Silk Ribbons :: Ricketts Glen, PA

Silk Ribbons :: Ricketts Glen, PA

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. -JFK

There is so much in our lives, both good and bad, that fill up our days that it can seem overwhelming.  I’ve found though, that a moment of gratitude can do wonders to give you perspective about what is important versus what is just “noise”.  It can drastically improve your mood and remind us to have some humility.


That being said, I want to take a moment to recognize the sources of joy in my life, and then encourage you to do the same. 🙂


Today, and every day, I am grateful for all of the blessings in my life.  I have my health, security, stability and opportunities to improve my life if I’m brave enough to reach for them.  I live in a place that recognizes my basic human rights.

The Hearts Overflows

The Hearts Overflows

I am surrounded by people who love and support me.  I was lucky enough to be born into a family that values things like compassion, kindness, and laughter.  I get to share my life with an incredible man who supports my dreams and enjoys making memories with me.  I literally have the best friends a girl could ask for.



I’ve seen enough beauty in this world to make anyone’s heart overflow with joy.  The power of nature, the rain, the wind, the lightning, the cold, the feel of the setting sun on my skin on a summer day, the colors of a dramatic sky, the smell of new grass and lilies, the sound of the ocean, watching children play and people love…

In Wildness

In Wildness

Adventure fills my soul, leads me to exciting places, introduces me to new people and enriches my life in a way that words can only barely describe.  I’m grateful to have wanderlust in my blood, to have had a family that nurtured it, and to now have the resources to follow its call.

Hope Rises

Hope Rises

The world is such a wonderful, frightening, beautiful place filled with an exquisite tapestry of human existence.  Every day I draw breath I am grateful that I get to be a part of it, grateful for the experiences that shaped me and the memories that sustain me.

We Are One

We Are One :: California

Thank you to each and every one of you for being part of my life.  Your support, your kindness, your smiles (or emoticons as the case may be), your love fills my life with so much joy.  You’ve all had a hand in shaping my life and I’m grateful for your influence.  It’s always appreciated when you take a moment to send me a note or comments.  I love the discussions and friendships that can be built from a photo.  And most importantly, you are a huge source inspiration.  Your perception and appreciation of my work is a humbling thing.  It’s incredible to think that my images can brighten someone’s day and my experiences (mistakes) help teach someone on the other side of the world.


Now, I challenge all of you to think about the blessings in your own life.  We all have our struggles, but perhaps focusing on the positives will help the negatives seem that much more bearable. 🙂


For those of you in the USA, Happy Thanksgiving week!  For my international friends, happy regular week! haha  Hope it’s a good one!




Never Forget

11 Sep

Flatiron :: NYC

Flatiron :: NYC

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
This image was taken of the Flat Iron in NYC a few years back. Every trip I take to that city is an emotional one. New York is so vibrant, but I am always reminded of the loss and the pain that NYC suffered. That in turn, reminds me to be grateful for each and every day I have on this earth and to live and love fiercely.

For me, today is a day of remembrance to honor those lost not just in 2001, but in all crimes of intolerance and power struggles throughout the world. Its also a reminder to give thanks to everyone who works hard every day to keep our country and our citizens safe.

Life is short. Live it to the fullest with love and appreciation in your heart. Hug the people you care about. Don’t be frugal with kind words and smiles. Understand that different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Be accepting and kind isn’t easy…it requires personal strength to overcome our fears of the unknown. The dream of world peace is a huge under taking, but it starts with us. Every person in our international community has the power to affect the way the winds blow. It starts with our actions, our reactions and the strength of our character. It lies in our ability to talk, to listen, to respect one another, to let go of the small stuff, to be generous with our goodwill, to understand what situations call for strength and what situations call for love. You can be the change. <3

#911 ‪#‎neverforget‬

We Were Together, I Forget The Rest

19 Aug

GrowOldWithYou_SpecialElite (1)
Earlier this month I asked for your help – submissions of your best feel good or love quotes – to create a piece of Pinterest-friendly photo art.  Today, I present to you, the final project! 🙂

So many thanks to everyone who sent in a quote.  Between all of the social medias, I had more than enough to choose from.  It was a bit of a unique and interesting project, in that I got a bit of insight into what you thought about when you saw the photo.  It was really cool to see everyone’s interpretation of the image, and how it made them feel.  I always feel like, in creating my images, I give a little bit of myself to the world.  Those of you who submitted quotes…well…you gave me a little piece of your world, and I am grateful for that. 🙂

Now, the winner of the print is Marie over at Miles Don’t Matter.  One of the quotes she submitted was actually a paraphrased version of this Walt Whitman quote.  I loved both versions of the quote…her submissions, and the exact line from the poem, but went with the full quote because the phrasing felt less modern.

Another great big huge thank you goes out to my friends at Print Therapy.  The font needed to convey the mood and tone of the project, and Melissa at PT really helped me narrow the font options down.  This old typewriter font that she picked out felt perfect.  It went with the aged and worn feel of the trees, while adding to the feel of old time, committed love that the quote conveyed.  All in all, this was a super project to work on.  I loved it so much, in fact, I may try this again in a few months…so keep your eyeballs peeled for that bit of fun.

In the meantime (no rest for the weary, right?) the next project – a blog tour – is brewing.  Expect to see more about that in Sept!

Ok, friends…I’ve got some photos to edit.  Until the next blog post…


We Are One

10 Jul

We Are One

We Are One

I’ve always thought there was something intimate about the way the ocean caresses the shore.  There is an interconnectedness.  A reminder that what affects one affects us all.  We are one world, one international community, one people and it benefits us all to embrace the ideas of love, tolerance, understanding and respect. ❤

This image was from the workshop I took with Toby Harriman, David Gaiz and Michael Shainblum.  Such a pleasure working with and chatting with those guys…and I got the added bonus of spending some time with my good friend David Pasillas, as well as making a few new photo-friends along the way.  Overall, it well worth the time and effort to fly to Cali! 🙂

On the whole, this photo is a blend of HDR and luminosity masks, with some minor color and light tweaks here and there.

2013 – A Year of Big Things!

30 Dec

The Redwood Trail

The Redwood Trail

The end of any year is a time of reflection, and renewed determination for the coming 365. It’s a time to appreciate how far we’ve come and set goals for where we would like to go. This can be anything from getting in shape (which is in my sights, 2014!) to places we want to see or big purchases we want to make…to (more importantly for this blog) our career goals for the coming year. In this case, where do I want to take my photography?

Let’s start with 2013, shall we?

Baby Sea Lion

Baby Sea Lion

What a great year, photographically speaking! On a whim, I decided to hop a flight to California and take a photo road-trip with my friend David, a west coast photographer. Turns out, that state is an image gold mine! Beyond the joy of spending time with some close friends, I got the opportunity to see and photograph an adorable baby sea lion no more than 15 feet from me, to experience the breath-taking beauty of a desert sunrise in Joshua Tree, and to explore the redwoods, waterfalls and beaches of Big Sur. Those are memories I will cherish forever.

Moray, Peru

Moray, Peru

As amazing as that trip was, it was peanuts compared to my trip to Peru to visit the iconic Machu Picchu. That country is absolutely gorgeous, and the people I met were absolutely fantastic. I did contract food poisoning while I was there, which hindered me a bit… but even being under the weather, I appreciated what a rich culture and beautiful landscape of Peru. I was able to capture some incredible images and absolutely 100% want to go back. Anyone out there with a winning lottery ticket, keep me in mind, mmmkay? 😉

Arethusa Falls, NH

Arethusa Falls, NH

Beyond those two big trips, I took another hike up Mt Washington in New Hampshire, some blue hour shots at a lighthouse in Maine, experienced a number of beautiful cell phone snaps down the east coast to Viriginia, and about a million east coast waterfalls in between. Haha Which, I’d like to point out, just a year ago I struggled with as subject matter. Amazing how far we can come in a short amount of time if we put our minds to education and practice.

Beyond that, I’ve had the pleasure of being part of engagement shoots, weddings and portrait shoots. I’ve seen growth on my blog and with my photo skills, hung my art in local galleries and shows, photographed some great concerts and was honored to work with other local businesses to raise money for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Hearts & Thieves - Rick - www.heartsandthieves.com

Hearts & Thieves – Rick – http://www.heartsandthieves.com

Photographically, it’s been a great year. In fact, on most levels, it’s been a good year. A year of big change (much of which I got through with the help of family, friends and my wonderful boyfriend), some loss (my amazing Grandmother lost her battle with cancer, as did my horse, whom I adored) and surgery (I had my hand, knee and teeth done in less than a year)…but there has been so much positive energy in my life, I can’t possibly call it a bad year. Although the sorrowful times were difficult, I never lost sight of the fact that there were many blessings in my life to be grateful for.

So what’s the plan for next year? I’d like to…

… get something published. Which means, I have to start submitting. Haha If anybody has an “in” with a magazine (online or print), I’d love to be considered as a contributor!
… grow my followers, which is a word of mouth situation. If you like me work, please spread the word. In return, you’ll have my eternal gratitude! 😀
…make more photo friends! So…um…email me, ok? Let’s plan some photo walks and marketing brainstorms and such!
…give away more free stuff!

On a personal level, my wish for all of us is health, love, happiness, and wonderful life experiences! Don’t be afraid to try new things, go new places, take a few risks, appreciate the good things in your life, remember…it can always be worse… and don’t be afraid to put in some hard work. In the end, it will all be worth it. 🙂

Thanks for your continued support and friendship!

A Lovely Surprise

14 Nov

Melissa & Nick Got Engaged!

Melissa & Nick Got Engaged!

Let me tell you a little story about love…and surprises… hence the title of the post.

My friend Melissa, who I have known forever who is like family to me, who is also my second shooters for wedding, engagement and most portrait shoots asked me to take a few photos of her and her long-term boyfriend Nick.  They didn’t have any recent photos and as I’m sure you would all concur, photos of your loved ones are a precious thing that you can never have enough of. (If you’re interested in learning more about our portrait shoots, email us at seespotsphoto@yahoo.com.)

We set a date, which happened to be only a few days after I had knee surgery.  My guy, Sean, graciously agreed to help carry light stands and camera bags and such.  Melissa pulled double duty by being both subject and assistant, setting everything up at each location since I was on crutches.

M & N

M & N

The theme for the shoot was rustic/outdoors-y, which as strong hikers, bikers and dog walkers, was a true reflection of their personalities.  So, we found some colorful leaves and an old barn, and went to it.

Now, as I mentioned, I was on crutches, only a few days post-op and I only had so much strength that day.  I did as many series as I could before I started to feel tired.  During the last pose (in which their dog Hope wrapped them up in a leash), Nick surprised us all by pulling a ring out of his pocket and asking her to marry him!

All Wrapped Up

All Wrapped Up

Nick got an A+ for picking the right time to ask.  She was doing something she loved (photos) with people she loved and now has pictures so she will never forget it.  I’d say it was a successful shoot, wouldn’t you? 😉

Remembering My Grandmother

4 Nov

Autumn Falls

Autumn Falls

“Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.” – Rossiter Worthington Raymond

A little over a week ago, on October 25th, my grandmother lost her battle with cancer.  Generally, I’m a fairly private person, but she was an incredible woman and deserves to have a few words said about her.  So here you go.

I can’t remember the exact date that my grandmother was diagnosed with lymphoma…some time before July 2012, from what I can find…but I remember thinking it seemed impossible.  My grandmother was a vibrant woman, full of life and love.  I couldn’t imagine her being incapacitated by anything so devastating as cancer.

My whole life, I had known my grandparents to be adventurous and energetic people.  They had 5 children (my mother included), all of whom were spread out across the country and they spent a lot of their time traveling (driving in an RV, the ultimate on-going road trip) from state to state visiting family.  When they weren’t checking in on their children and grandchildren, they were keeping a busy social schedule, traveling between states to square dance (one of their favorite activites…yes somehow I inherited zero dancing skills.  I can’t even Zumba. haha).  It seemed as though my grandparents had been pretty much everywhere, both within the US and internationally.

Besides having endless amounts of energy (it seemed to young-Shannon, at least), my grandparents were the most caring, loving couple you would ever meet.  They were together 65 years, and without a doubt, it was a happy 65 years.  As most people do at the conclusion of a long illness, my cousins and I traded stories about our grandparents as a way to honor my grandma’s memory.  I remember visiting in September, and my grandfather had left a love note for my grandmother on the white board in their apartment: “I love you a bushel and a peck”.  One of my cousins from Texas brought up an instance about 6-7 years ago when she remembered watching Grandpa pinch Grandma’s butt.  Another cousin, from California, talked about how Grandpa never stopped trying to impress Grandma after all those years, and how Grandma always showed her appreciation for his efforts with a smile, and a sigh (read my cousin’s perfect tribute here, if you’re interested).  They were a shining example of how relationships should be….they were 100% open about their love for each other, always sharing kisses and smiles, and supported each other, good times and bad, throughout the years.  As Grandpa said this past January, when he talked about dancing with the woman he loved, “We need each other.  We hold each other up.”

My grandmother’s love extended well beyond her relationship with Grandpa.  She was such a genuinely thoughtful and caring person.  Even in the age of email (and believe me, she was computer savvy.  I always joked I had to watch what I put up on Facebook, because both of my Grandparents were in my friends list!), my grandmother would be sure to send cards and letters, and photos…man, she loved her photos!…out to family.  Sometimes it was for holidays, sometimes it was just to keep everyone up to date on their latest adventures, and other times it was just to show she cared.  About 3 weeks ago, shortly before she was admitted to the hospital for the last time, I recieved a card in the mail.  It had a beautiful photo of a flower on the front, and in the inside my Grandmother wrote that she was sorry to hear the trip I had waited so long for didn’t go as I had planned (Peru) and she hoped the flower cheered me up, and that knee surgery went well.  She signed it the way she signed everything, “Love and Hugs”.

I’ve thought long and hard about my Grandmother, and decided two things.  I want to spend my energy appreciating the good memories I have of her and with her, and that the best way to honor her life is to try to live my own life in a way that mirrors the things she valued.  She was a smart woman, who appreciated the beauty of the world, she was an artist (she loved to paint), she valued family (did I mention the photos?  She had shelves full of photo albums and spent a lot of time working on a family history for us), she was frugal in a good way, a great cook (for my brother’s wedding, his only food request?  Grandma’s home made pierogi), she was bold and spirited, she loved to laugh (I can’t remember her without a smile on her face), she was confident and as my cousin said, “expected it from us”, she accepted people for who they were – quirks and flaws and all, she was supportive, she was loving, she was strong (my god was she strong.  She wasn’t going to let a little thing like cancer slow her down!), she was a rock for my Grandfather and for her children, and she impacted everyone she met simply by being herself.

The photo at the top of this post was taken a few weeks back when my friend David was visiting from California.  We took a walk in the woods, appreciating Connecticut as it started to shed its greens in favor of some brighter colors.  The day was peaceful, and I remember enjoying my time with David.  We laughed, we supported each other as we worked to create beautiful images and the quiet of the woods was peaceful and soothing.  At first, I struggled a bit, trying to decide which photo to put up for my grandmother’s tribute, then I realized that this image, and that day is the type of memory that honored the way my Grandma lived her life.

Grandma was always completely supportive of all of her grandchildren, and although I do remember there were a few photos she pointed out here or there as favorites, overall she was outspoken about agreeing with my decision to pursue photography.  I am forever grateful to be part of such happy, loving, somewhat loud and crazy, accepting and supportive family and that culture stems from my Grandparent.  I am forever grateful to have had the best Grandmother a girl could ask for, to have learned the importance of love, of family, of laughter and of strength from the woman who set the example for all of us.

I’ll miss your smile, Grandma, but I promise I’ll never forget it.  Thank you for your love and the lessons you gave us.

One of your many, many grandchildren