I spent a couple weeks in California in December - partly to meet three awesome couples I'll be working with in 2018 (photos of that to come), and partly to visit a city I've come to love. I photographed a really fun engagement last year at the Sutro Baths, but was a little taken aback by how crowded it was. I made a point to revisit Sutro Baths this trip, but this time I went at sunrise, and we were literally the only people there.
Leah Fisher Arsenault Photography recent weddings and shoots
After my last wedding of 2017 in October I rented out my place in Portland (just for the winter, I'll be back!) closed on a house in Brooksville, ME, moved some things in, photographed a bunch of awesome couples I'm excited to be working with in 2018 and hopped in my vanagon for it's first true test on the road outside of Maine.
We started in Jackson, NH, visited Mass Moca in MA, took a work break in Hudson Valley, NY, discovered that we probably shouldn't have stopped in Harrisburg, PA then finally took a few days to stop in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. I had no expectations for Shenandoah and it was the true highlight of the trip for me. Skyline drive was beautiful, deer were everywhere, there were no crowds and plenty of small hikes. From Virginia we headed to Asheville - messed up some planning and ended up at a KOA. Then we did a night of dispersed camping in the Pisgah Forest. This was also a sweet surprise and I loved how close the mountains are in Asheville. We hiked Looking Glass Rock (I only brought a film camera, oops!) and then headed into Asheville for a few days. Asheville reminded me of Portland a lot, or maybe kind of more like Portland 5 years ago but somehow with more breweries and way, way more antique furniture. We scored big thrifting and antiquing in NC. I would make the Grey Eagle at the top of anyone's list of places to go see a band in Asheville, and get a drink at the Double Crown afterward.
From Asheville we beelined to NH, and then onto Maine. Some thoughts on living in the van for about two weeks - A lot of life's worries go right out the door when you're confined to the van and the road. - It's important to find places to pee! - I hit my head so many times. - State parks in New England close really early in the fall and that makes it more difficult to find places to stay than I anticipated. - Cozying up in the back of the van with the back hatch open and the screen in is the most comfy place in the world.
More van trips to come.
Collin + Mackenzie celebrated the second day of their wedding weekend by throwing a big pizza party at Flatbread Company in Rockport, with music from by Chris Brinn & Friends. Before the party we did one of my favorite things - went around to some spots special to them, including the Norumbega Inn and Beloin's which has awesome little waterfront cabins.
Mackenzie + Collins had a pretty incredible two day wedding bash. The first day they got married among their friends and family at Union Hall and then celebrated at Nina June + Whitehall. Here is Part 1 of their amazing wedding weekend. I especially loved this wedding as Mackenzie referred to me as her "friend-tograhper" :)
Mari and Luke sure have a knack for strange weather! When we got together for their engagement shoot it was dumping snow, and super cold, but we had fun with it. At their wedding they had rain and wind but you'd never know from the smiles of their faces. This group knew how to make the most of a tent, a band, awesome food and a boat full of beer!
Awesome working with:
Venue: Parent’s backyard
Day of Coordinator: Dragonfly Services
Caterer: 111 Maine
Bouquets: Watershed florals
Tablescapes: Sweet violet gardens
Mari's Dress: Maria Antonieta couture
DJ/Band: DC Project
Erich and Alyssa's wedding was an absolute dream. Everything about it was gorgeous. The ceremony was out in the field looking out at Lake Champlain with these tall, shady trees. The dinner was held in the center of the Coach Barn with a clear sky overhead and string lights. The band got everyone one the dance floor, and it all ended with a pretty epic sparkler send off. My favorite parts were bringing Erich + Alyssa out to the lake at sunset and seeing how happy they are, Alyssa's father's speech and watching everyone laugh, and meeting countless friend's and family. Thank you so much for having me! Looking forward to running into Alyssa + Erich in Portland!
From Alyssa + Erich: Erich and Alyssa met at a party at the University of Vermont in 2008, and immediately connected when they discovered that they have the same birthday (only one year apart). While Erich made several attempts to take Alyssa on a date, the timing was never right, but they remained in touch. Finally, after Alyssa’s graduation, they were both living in Burlington and ran into each other on Church Street. This reconnection led to a dinner date, and then an inseparable summer together. In 2015, a few days before their shared birthday, Erich proposed to Alyssa by Lake Champlain at Shelburne Farms in Vermont. The two now live in Portland, Maine with their dog Otis.
Gibs + Christiana's wedding at the Gardens at Elm Bank was so beautiful - it was a perfect day with beautiful weather. The gardens were so fun to explore, and it was the perfect setting for a summer wedding.
Awesome working with:
Venue: Massachusetts horticultural society (The Gardens at Elm Bank)
Caterer/Dessert/Flowers: Peppers Artful Events
Jessie + Erik's wedding at the William Allen Farm was so fun - and featured a few of my favorite things - Llamas + Pizza. Thanks so much for having me there and I hope you're having a great time on your honeymoon this week!
Elizabeth and Elliott met at Yale Divinity school. Their ceremony was especially moving; they had their teachers, Maria LaSala and Bill Goettler, officiate. Afterward guests walked right up the road to the Waterford World’s Fair - “Maine’s most improved small fair” where guests enjoyed the fairgrounds before gathering in the dance hall for dinner and dancing.
From Karen + Alex:
Karen and Alex’s story began in New York City in the fall of 2013, one October morning on Sullivan Street (the street both Karen and Alex lived on). Karen was making her morning commute down Sullivan when she passed Alex, who was dropping his clothes off at the neighborhood laundromat. They said a quick hello and smiled. Alex immediately caught Karen's eye. When she got home from work that day, she mentioned the encounter to her roommate and planted the seed with a mutual friend who was kind enough to pass along the memo to Alex: "Karen is interested. She thinks you're funny, cute, and the good kind of weird.”
A few weeks later, Karen and Alex found themselves at the Copper Door Halloween party. Picture Alex with a mustache, a cheesy plaid vest and khakis - his best attempt at “Cliff Paul” from the State Farm insurance commercials - and Karen, with McDonald’s French fries attached to each hip, dressed as "Hot French Fries," (a shameless play on her last name). Three back to back costume-clad dates later, Alex and Karen were smitten.
Just two and a half months after that initial Halloween party, Karen was offered a new job in San Francisco and the two of them had a very tough decision to make. After many sleepless nights and soul searching conversations with good friends, they reached their decision together – Karen was going to take the job and move to California, a place Alex had never even visited. They were going to make it work. A few weeks passed, she moved, he visited, and five months later, Alex purchased his first ever one-way plane ticket.
In April of 2016, Alex and Karen went "glamping" in Big Sur, where Alex popped the question on a very long, very sweaty hike.