Author Archives: Sharon Ward

Don’t drop the ball on this…

Don’t drop the ball on this…

the first thing anyone does before they decide to do business with you is this…

Now more than ever in this internet age we are in, your prospective clients will most likely rely on google to give them an updated summary of who you are before they decide to do business with you.  The first thing most people will do is check you out to see who you are, if your website looks official and if they can connect with you when they see your profile pic or headshot.  It is a crucial part of your online identity. They will make a decision based on how professional everything looks to them.

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A few reasons why it is best to have a professional portrait for yourself, your website, business card and social media:

1. Makes a better first impression– Saying no to the selfie
Poor quality, blurry, pixelated, bad lighting, stretched images that you took with your selfie stick will not cut it.  It will be obvious that you were simply too lazy or too cheap to have a professional portrait taken.  People will make assumptions about your quality of work, service or professionalism. When you go on an interview you usually dress and look your best right?  So why then wouldn’t you want to be shown at your best to those who may hire you or your services?  Prospective clients will know that you did not invest in yourself and your business, so they may then think you will not invest in their best interest? This gives you credibility.

2. Adds a personal touch– Paying close attention to the background
This will give your future clients or customers a quick visual about who you are and what you do. Having a professional photo is a great way to establish your personal and or business brand. Your session can be customized to the best location that represents you and the tone of  your business.

3. Connect with your clients– Before you even meet them.
Having a professional image is a good way to put a face to a name, show off your personality and style. This will allow your clients to remember you. People want to do business with people, not just a company. This builds connection and trust and authenticity.

4. Be prepared– You will use it everywhere
You have probably found that at sometime in your professional career, someone has asked you to submit a copy of your head shot.  You never know when you may need one.  It is best to have one on hand so you don’t get stuck rushing to get one done when you finally do need it.  You can use it on all of your social media sites, you will use it in many ways for your website or blog.  A last minute networking opportunity on a business trip might present itself and you won’t want to miss out on it, or worse, have them see your less than desirable, or outdated image, that looks nothing like you now.

5. You deserve it-You work hard at what you do
Are you an entrepreneur, do you have a home based business, are you a blog writer, a realtor, a hair stylist, a pampered chef rep, a sales person, a jewelry store owner, an Arbonne rep, a health coach?  Whatever it is that you do, or whatever your vision may be for starting a business,  you have worked hard at it. You deserve to look your best.  Your past and future clients will love to see you in a new light!

6. I can help YOU to jump start your business and your brand by offering you an opportunity to create some personalized promotional head shots just for you.  Whether you prefer it be at your office, your salon, your home, your kitchen, or any other outside location. I can help you with this. I tend to be a laid back person, but understand that many people do not enjoy being in front of the camera.  We will work together closely to push through any fears or insecurities you may have.  I will show you on camera as we go along, some of the images so that we know if we are on the right track together, with your vision for your brand.   Invest in yourself and your business so that others will invest in you.

Start this new year off with a fresh new look. You can see more of my business promotional samples at my website here.

This is your year to shine!


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Embracing that three lettered word

My New Year’s resolution is to focus on a little word that I have not been paying a lot of attention to lately as I go about my days.  It is not something you can wrap up, or buy, or create. It is something that comes from within, something that is present even in the smallest moments of our lives.  If we do not pay attention to it, it can hide tucked away inside of our busy lives and we keep moving forward without stopping to pause, to embrace it, to enjoy it, to feel it and to nurture it.  It is in there, even when the days are dark and gloomy. God put it there for all of us for find and enjoy.  We just need to stop and recognize it before it passes us by or runs and hides.  It is called…CM3x4JournalCard2

Joy can be defined as a state of mind, and an orientation of the heart. It is also a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. Joy is something that we all strive to obtain and feel in this life. Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good something really is.  Joy is something that some people find and recognize more easily than some, who may have a harder time learning to recognize it when comes to their door.  Joy is something that we all try to capture in a photo; if even a millisecond long.

Joy can be present in our lives in many ways:  whether it be in life’s little delights, like the first taste of a hot cup of coffee in the morning or a sip of a good red wine in the evening, to the wind blowing in your face on a warm summer day.  Joy in its very raw and perfect moments, will reveal itself through others, whether it be the hug from a loved one, the feel of your baby’s soft skin, butterfly kisses from a child, a friendly lick from the family pet, the feeling you get when together with those you love, a conversation with a good friend,  or a smile from a stranger. Joy can also surface as a glimpse of hope for your future or simply be present when you are doing whatever it is you are passionate about it this life.

JOY can come through your door at any given moment, and JOY can also leave at any given moment, many times without warning.  Feel it, recognize it, be open to it, capture it, save it, keep it in your heart and don’t EVER let anyone steal it.  You know those people, the joy “stealers”?  We all know one or two.  I have been guilty of being one in my own family at times and if you are also a mom, you most likely can recall a time in which that were true for you too.

Then there are those people who are good at hiding behind their smile, they may seem filled with joy on the surface, when indeed they have so much pain and hurting deep inside that it has smothered their joy, which is now is buried deep down inside. It is not gone forever, it can surface as long as it is allowed to and they work to move beyond the pain and sorrow to a place where they can embrace joyful moments again.

My resolution and my wish for you is to enjoy the “little” joyful moments in life, keep them tucked in a safe place, share them with others when you can, because one day we will look back and realize that they were the “big” moments.

As a tribute to saying goodbye to 2015,  I selected 15 images from this past year in which I could visualize “joy” captured in the moment.  It was difficult to decide, but these are the ones that first pulled on my “joy” strings and put me right back to the moment when I clicked the shutter on my camera.

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Wishing you many moments of JOY in 2016.


50 things I have learned about life through my lens

I’m half-a-century old!  So here I am, reflecting on turning fifty by sharing some images and thoughts of what that considerable span of time has taught me. I share this as a birthday present to myself today….but my hope is that each of you will find at least one bit of truth that resonates with you and causes you to reflect as well.

The more I think of it, the less it really even means that much, it’s just a number, half of 100 or half-a-century!  I used to think fifty was middle age.  Well, I am feeling doubtful about living until the ripe old age of 100 so there goes that theory, I guess I already passed middle age.

But everyone says age is just a number and its all about attitude; well yes, and no,  No matter how much my mind is over my matter, my matter is still turning fifty, and just like the weather, there’s not a darn thing I can do about that. But in all honesty,  right now I am really okay with this.

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(My daughter recently took hold of my camera and for once I was in front of my lens, instead of behind.  These photographs coming from my daughter’s eyes, I will treasure forever)

I remember clearly the day I turned forty.  As I was driving past a road sign that said 40mph, and as silly as it seems, I recall tears coming to my eyes at the thought of being that age…I felt uncertain about so many things. Am I doing the right thing? Am I able to start my own business?  Am I raising my girls the right way? Am I being a good wife? Am I as healthy as I can be? Am I doing what God wants me to do?   Am I serving my community?

Looking back, although I faced many challenges (both good and bad) as well as achievements in my forties, it has led me to where I am today. Whether it be my two miscarriages, chronic lyme disease, the death of a loved one, the declining health of aging parents, to launching my own photography business and starting up and leading a women’s ministry at my church.  It is all very important to my story of who I am today.  I can not only look at the good because it is from the darker side of life that we learn and grow.  God has graciously placed the right people in my path at the right time and I have learned so much from this journey.  It is amazing what the human mind and soul can absorb in one decade.

Today I drive past a road sign that says 50mph and I feel confident and at peace with my life. Regardless of the daily ups and downs, at this moment, I feel healthy. I feel blessed.  I feel wise.  I feel like I can do anything at this moment. I know so much more than I knew when turning forty.  I know who I am. I know that God loves me.  I know that I am the best parent, wife and friend that I can be at this moment even in my weaknesses. And whether someone disagrees with this or not, I still know it to be true.

I have to keep reminding myself to live in this moment, for our moments change like the wind. This moment will not feel the same in another decade, but I know that no matter what comes my way, I have been given the tools I need to push through both the good and the bad.

 (Photo creds -Megan Ward)

I have been wondering how I should celebrate this half-a-century milestone. The only thing that I feel I want to do is relax and take it all in…right where I am.  Maybe hike up a mountain, breathe in the sea air, soak up the sunshine. Pay attention to the beauty of nature around me. Hang with my husband and girls.  Spend quality time with my friends. Appreciate all that is good and all that I have been given.

I do not feel that I need to do anything monumental to celebrate, because God has already blessed me in so many ways and given me so much already. That, to me, is monumental.  I need to spend time with that thought and just soak it all in.

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In honor of my recent half a century celebration, I wanted to share with you, some of my work from over the years that represents fifty things I have learned about life, through my lens.   They depict either what I have learned or what I continually strive to be.  I hope that they touch your heart in some way, as they did mine.

Here’s to the next half-a-century!!    -Sharon

A Visual of 50 Things I have Learned Through my Lens.

  1. Find a place that fills your soul, be sure to visit it often.

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2. Be yourself, only YOU are awesome at it.

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3. I wake up each day and see that I have all 10 toes. I can put one foot in front of the other and make a difference in someone else’s life

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4. Beautiful pictures are developed from negatives in a dark room. If you see darkness in your life, be reassured that a beautiful picture is being prepared.


5. Memories from your childhood are imprinted in your mind like a silloutte. You may not always remember the details but it will be forever embedded in your mind and heart. It is your story and you own it. Accept it/ treasure it, use it as a way to enrich your life as an adult.

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6. Life is like a camera, just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.


7. Listen to your elders, they have been on this earth longer than you.

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8. The quieter you become, the more you can hear.


9. Surround yourself with friends who can make you laugh at life and at yourself.


10. “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward”

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11. Don’t compare yourself to others, they have a different purpose on this earth. Comparison will steal your joy.

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12. Hard work builds character (and no one works harder than a farmer).

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13.  If you ever feel like giving up, just remember there’s a little girl watching who wants to be just like you.

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14. “Listening is the first step to peace; everyone wants to be heard”  Mark Nepo

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15. YOU must find your OWN balance in your life, do not try to keep up with everyone else’s pace in life.

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16. Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.


17. Let kids get dirty, it builds character. The character remains forever, and the dirt washes off.

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18.  “There is nothing to prove and nothing to protect. I am who I am and it’s enough.”
―Richard Rohr

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19. Your wings already exist, all you have to do is FLY


20. There is no greater friend than a beloved dog.


21. No matter what, don’t look back with regret, just keep looking forward.


22. Simple joys are found in simple places, find your joy.


23. Find your passion. Discovering something you love to do has an amazing effect on your entire life. Whether your joy is in a hay field, in an office, or in the classroom, find it, it is essentially what will keep you going when times are rough.

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24. It’s the little things in life that can give you “pure joy”.

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25. Be careful what you wish for, it just may be more than you asked for.

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26. The hill is steep but you will eventually get to the top by taking baby steps.

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27. Find peace and strength in knowing that you are who you are because of your mother’s unconditional love for you.  Every memory is tucked away in your mind for a reason, even if you cannot remember why.

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 28. Whenever you feel down, remember someone is always worse off than you.

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29. Don’t judge a person by what they wear,  their true spirit lies deep within their soul.

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30. Be sure to stop and admire God’s creatures along the way.Ireland_092810_748

31. Appreciate the work that goes into farm fresh food.  It takes many months to harvest a good crop and many hands to pick it.


32. The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. the one who walks alone, is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.

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33. Great things will happen when you get up, DUST yourself off, and go after things with determination and courage.

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34. Remember that someone may be admiring you so always do your best.


35. You can fly high for a moment in life….

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…but you have to remember to land. The only person a big ego is appealing to is yourself. A humble heart will touch many lives.


36. A single rose can be my garden, a single friend, my world.

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37. Love deeply, no matter how short, those memories will be with you forever.

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38. Before you judge, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and see how easy it is.

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39. Holding onto a grudge is like holding onto a frog, you have to let it go or it gets really slimy!


40. When you look into the mirror, smile at yourself, you have to love yourself, before you can love others.

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41. It isn’t the farm that makes the farmer, it’s the LOVE, hard WORK and CHARACTER

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42. Dance, then, wherever you may be, the whole world is a stage.


43. A strong Dad, makes for a strong daughter. Girls listen to their dads, they tuck their messages away deep within their hearts, and then one day, when they are ready to face the world, they pull it back out and that’s when it all makes sense. Dad are a critical part of their daughters lives.

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44.  A mothers’ love for her child is the strongest bond on earth, don’t mess with the mother!!

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45. Enjoy the sunset in your own backyard before venturing out to someone else’s sunset.

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46. We are all like a snowflake, all different in our own beautiful way.

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47. Don’t forget to look up, you will be surprised at what you may miss if you keep looking down.

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48. Hold onto things that are dear to you, you never know who will appreciate them later on.

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49. When life gives you grapes…make wine!


50. Always be GRATEFUL Gratitude is the best way to find contentment. Personally I don’t think there is any way to find contentment without gratitude. It takes our focus off what we don’t have and onto what we do have. and…

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 …ALWAYS keep your eyes open to God’s graces.

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Thank you!


Because she was “just” a dog

I don’t consider myself much of a writer, I tend to be more visual, hence the reason I chose to be a photographer.  However, I felt compelled to put a few words in writing, followed by MANY photos in an attempt to share my story of our life with our dog, “Ella”.  Perhaps this is my own way to grieve over the loss of someone who was very special to me and my family.  Perhaps it is my way to say to others “I know how you feel” when they go through a similar situation with their beloved pet.

Recently, we had to make the difficult decision to have Ella euthanized due to her diagnosis of a cancerous tumor on her spleen that had spread to her lungs.  It hit us like a ton of bricks, we did not see it coming as she was fine the week before.  All of a sudden, she was not eating during the week that led up to her diagnosis. Just two short days later, her health had declined immensely and it was too painful to watch her suffer. That was the day my whole family brought her back to the vet and had to put her to sleep.

As a way of coping with this loss,  I decided to sit down and look through all of the photos that I took of our beloved dog “Ella” over these short 8 years.   As I scrolled through the images, fond memories with her came flooding back to my mind.  I found it incredibly soothing for me as it allowed me to realize how very blessed we were to have this amazing creature in our lives. Her life wasn’t anything dramatic, she was simple, she wanted to love us and hoped we would love her back. It was in these everyday simple moments where she made us laugh, and made us feel loved.

Ella taught us how to love.  Her love for our family was unconditional. She witnessed both the good and the bad days, she never barked back, she may have lowered her tail and walked away with her feelings hurt. But she was always quick to forgive and forget.

This is her journey with us.  I hope you will enjoy looking at these photos as much as I do. Some are simply snapshots with a cell phone and some were strategically planned out. Either way, I think the images are a true reflection of her spirit and soul.

Ella was ‘just a dog” but she was a true friend and part of our family.

Because she was just a dog, she always forgave me when I was in a bad mood.  Because she was just a dog, she loved me at my worst. For her, a walk was a gift and she only needed food, a comfortable place to lay down and a butt rub to have the best day ever.  Because she was just a dog, she never let me down, never held a grudge and never got mad. She was the perfect companion and the perfect friend,  solely because she was just a dog.

Because being just a dog was exactly what I needed from her.

And I just lost a piece of my heart.

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Christmas Morning.  Her first day with us at 6 months old.ella christmas 2

Mount Major hike to the top. I am not sure she recognized how beautiful the view was, because her eyes were always on us.Ella hikes 2

Ella hikes

One of my favorite places and her favorite places to roam free was at my parents farm in Upstate, NYella field 2ella field

The only thing better than hanging out at the ocean, is hanging out at the ocean with your dog.

It is a lesson in nature and freedom.ella beach 2
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A boater’s best friend, always on the lookout.ella boat 2ella boat 1ella boat 3Finding fish or finding her reflection… to this day we are not sure which one was more captivating for her.ella water 1

Smelly dog, wet dog, it’s a package deal. In a heartbeat I would take it all back.ella bathella face 1Always by your side not wanting to miss a moment.Ella snow 1

Christmas memories, always ready and waiting…ella santa

But not always very eager to help clean up or help give a pushella helping hand 2

Thank God for kids and dogs, to always find the funny in lifeella and kids

She was a true New Englander, loves the snow…ella snow 4

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and loves life.ella field 3

She is always willing to lend a hand….ella helping hand…but sometimes she is just a lazy dog. And I can’t say I blame her.ella lounging

A great man and a great dog.

“She might be only part of your life, but for her,  you are her everything, the only person in her whole life.”

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Dog is a man’s best friend, if you will be her friend, she will love you forever. (horse too!)ella companion

Animals are such agreeable friends -they ask no questions, they pass no criticism. Best buddies.ella and pekoe

The sad face I often see as I leave the house, either at my office window, or at the front door.  Waiting patiently for my return.ella in and out

My walking pal, my right hand man, my company when the going gets tough; who joins me on the sunniest of days as well as the dark gloomy days.ella by my side

“The last day”

Below is Ella on her last day with us.  Our cat, Pekoe, her best buddy, offering some last minute love and a last kiss. It was as if he knew his friend was not going to be around much longer.

True love and true animal instinct.Ella last day

And I know there is a special place where your soul will reside, if it is not our same heaven, it is one just as awesome.ella face 3

“Good dogs are with us for a little while to teach us how to love like it’s our job…because it is.” ~Leigh Standley

You will always in our hearts and minds.

-Your forever family-

Dancers Bonding Moments Before the Stage

Sharon Ward Photography followed this group of dancers around from Boire Dance Academy during a recent dance competition. I was so impressed with their teamwork as they prepared to hit the stage.  Aside from being “the mom” of one of these beautiful dancers, I have been lucky as “the photographer” to witness the love and compassion that has been displayed over the years as they bond together, cheer each other on, wipe away the tears, hug during difficult days, and get up and do it all over again and again multiple times per week as they prepare for each show.  This is just a snippet of photos starting about 45 mins before their stage time that I would like to share with you. I am so proud of them all.

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45 mins to showtime and we need to sew a hole under her sleeve.Headliners Derry 3-7-15-7

Sometimes it’s just all about the lipstick!

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The never ending circle of caring for your fellow dancersHeadliners Derry 3-7-15-20

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Waiting for skirts to be ironed

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A little last minute practice in the hallwaysHeadliners Derry 3-7-15-29Headliners Derry 3-7-15-30

Headed to find a quiet corner moments before they go on stage

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Love those smiles!

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another smile that makes my heart melt!Headliners Derry 3-7-15-41Headliners Derry 3-7-15-43Headliners Derry 3-7-15-44Headliners Derry 3-7-15-46Headliners Derry 3-7-15-49Headliners Derry 3-7-15-52Headliners Derry 3-7-15-66Headliners Derry 3-7-15-69Headliners Derry 3-7-15-73AHeadliners Derry 3-7-15-80Headliners Derry 3-7-15-80BHeadliners Derry 3-7-15-85Headliners Derry 3-7-15-86Headliners Derry 3-7-15-62Headliners Derry 3-7-15-65

To all the dancers out there……Dream BIG, believe in yourself, work hard, enjoy the process, love the art, dance with your heart.  Repeat.


The Wedding Dress

Moments captured as my 14 year old daughter discovered her grandmother’s (my mother) wedding dress in an old chest.  This was a spontaneous moment and I was so glad I had my camera along.   I loved every single one of the images below, as a mom sometimes you just can’t help yourself:)  I think it will be awhile before I  pull my wedding dress out of the box it was preserved in, that will have to wait, I don’t think I am ready for that one!  Thank you for viewing these very special images.

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The selfie in a wedding dress.

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My mom was surprised as she entered the room, a selfie with her grandma was definitely a must after all of that.

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What a sweet moment, that has given me visions and hopes of sweet days to come.



Mom-and-Sarah-Wedding-Dress-collagewebDedicated to my beautiful Mother and beautiful daughter.



“Rachel”-Senior Class of 2015

Rachel-Class of 2015 “Senior Session”

Rachel attends Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, NH.  She loves horses and is very fond of her horse named “MicMac”.  She was  looking for a country feel for her senior pics.  Beaver Brook in Hollis was the perfect location for her.  I loved her clothing choices for this type of session.  Her worn out boots gave the image a relaxed country feel.  The highlight of the session was finding a tiny garder snake in the grass. I screamed, but Rachel rushed to scoop it up before it scurried away.  Finding the bale of hay along the side the field was a perfect touch for this session and she had no problem lugging the hay bale back to its original spot.  That’s my kind of gal (growing up on a farm myself:))

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Page 3 KiczukPage 4 KiczukPage 5 KiczukPage 6 KiczukPage 7 KiczukI am booking senior sessions for summer, if you would like to book your senior session with me, please connect with me through my contact page at the top of my website

I look forward to working with you.



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