Le Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France

As many of you know, I am passionate about capturing ‘moments' with my camera.  Weddings, portraits, and headshots to name a few.  I also feel this way about Landscape and Travel Photography.  Today, I am sharing this short travelog of my visit to Normandy, France.  In particular,  a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Le Mont Saint-Michel (Saint Micheal’s Mount) in Normandy, France.  It is an incredible historical living monument.  This was one of my 'bucket list' places to see.  It is an island located 0.6 miles off the NW coast of Normandy and still is the seat of the monastery that it is named after.  This small Island has held strategic fortifications since the 8th century AD and still has a town that hosts 5-6 families plus the Monks who inhabit the monastery.  It had been only accessible at low tide until the recent addition of a causeway which makes visits more convenient so that no one will be stranded when the famous tides come in - which happen VERY FAST.  That is another story!Le Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France, Kim Bova Photography, View of Mont Saint-Michel at night
The short story behind this first photo is that my family and I rented an AirB&B in a small town called Vains which is directly across the bay and the closest to Mont Saint-Michel across the the water.  To my surprise, when we arrived at our rooms in the evening, we put our bags upstairs and I saw a window up high which was in the direction of the Bay.  I had to climb on a window seat to look out and go on tip toe and really stretch!
There are no words for the sight I saw.  Le Mont was lit up and glowing in the middle of the Bay.  It was other worldly, magical and maybe even mystical.  I quickly grabbed my camera and took this shot on tippy toes while my husband spotted and steadied me.  It was hard and I had to use a slower shutter speed than I wanted without a tripod, held my breathe as I raised the camera over my head and took a bunch of photos looking only at the digital viewer of my Lumix mirrorless camera.  (Still kicking myself for not wanting to carry my heavy Nikon gear to europe, but could be another post to explain why I made that decision!)
I never got a clearer of view of Le Mont  from this vantage point during our stay because of mist and fog the rest of our days there in the evenings, so I am so happy I took the time and energy to at least grab this shot!  Our visit to the island the next day made us understand why the attraction to this site has become a place of pilgrimage and historical significance.
I made this photograph at about 10:30 pm at night.  The sun sets there at 10 pm in May so that is why the glow of sunset is still in the photo.  Our AirB&B hosts told us it was best to visit the site in the evening but before sunset because parking is free after 7, there are less people and the light is spectacular.  They were absolutely right!  This photo will not win any awards, but this experience and the photos of my experience at this place is why I believe photos are so valuable to us.  An image of a place, a person and/or of a particular time in our lives that we want to remember is often the only physical representation we have to jog those memories.  Memory is funny, isn’t it?  It can change through time, but a photo can bring back feelings, scents and sometimes echoes of the sounds that we had actually experienced.  This is why I am passionate about photography and enjoy sharing it and helping others to remember their lives and their people.  
Thanks for stopping by the blog! Next time I will be writing about family portraits... fall is a great time for that!

Professional Headshots: Standout In Your Field.

As a photographer who mainly specializes in Wedding and Portraits, I do plenty of professional headshots as well.  I love doing them because I know this service is extremely helpful to business people of all kinds, but I also get to meet some of the most interesting people who are creating cool things! One of those people is Matthew P. Winkler.  He is an author and speaker regarding issues in mentoring kids and teenagers.  Matthew has taught and mentored teenagers at middle schools, high schools, and colleges in New York, New England, China, and Japan.  He currently serves as the Visiting Writer at South Kent School in Connecticut.  He conducts presentations and workshops related to his book, 'Mentoring Teenage Heroes: The Hero's Journey of Adolescence', and his video "What Makes a Hero?" a TED-ED lesson with over 3 million views. Matthew called me because his DIY headshot attempt did not work well plus, the competition in the writer/speaker arena is steep and he needed to stand out.  Matthew is a dynamic speaker and writer with a vision so he needed something that reflected who he was.  He asked me for an indoor studio look and outdoor look for his professional headshots.  We worked together to make it happen and here is what we created. Professional Headshots, Headshot Crew, Kim Bova Photography, CT Headshots, Headshots for Business Professional Headshots, Kim Bova Photography, Headshot Crew, CT Headshots, Headshots for Business Professional Headshots, Headshots for business, Kim Bova Photography, Headshot Crew, CT Headshots Headshot photography, Kim Bova Photography, Headshots for Business, CT Headshots, Headshot Crew Kim Bova Photography, Professional Headshots, Headshot Crew, CT Headshots, Headshot for Business So, it speaks to your professionalism to have take the time to have a great headshots created for your marketing.  Call me to schedule a free consultation today.  Here is a link to pricing and some information about my headshot program. Matthew's work is really worth checking out so please follow these links below.  If you know someone who works with teens or has teenagers in their lives, do share. Author of,  'Mentoring Teenage Heros: The Hero's Journey of Adolescence', and narrator of 'What Makes a Hero?'.   See his new headshots on his website, plus a photo Matthew took of both of us creating his headshots! Thank you for reading my blog!    

What should we wear for our engagement session?

My wedding clients often ask:  'What should we wear for our engagement session?' Here are some answers to this common question- 1- Wear something that reflects your personality and that you feel good in.  This will help you feel comfortable especially if you've never had a professional photographer photograph you before.  Some of my clients have told me that they were nervous at first and that wearing something comfortable and familiar made them feel like themselves.  I photograph many couples in jeans as well, so as long as you feel at home in the clothes you wear, it will allow you to be yourself. Kim Bova Photography, Engagement Session CT, what should we wear for our engagement session? 2- Find clothes that flatter your figure.  How do you do this?  Here is an important photographic fact that will help you: The lightest color in a photograph will appear larger.  Hmm, how about that!  We all have some some body issue that we do not appreciate when we see ourselves in photos.  It could be those few pounds we have been meaning to lose or something you don't like about your figure.  Try to avoid wearing large horizontal stripes as it may draw attention to the part you don't like.  Also, if your arms or legs are paler than your face, cover them up!  They will only look larger.  Your face should be the brightest part of the photo.  However, if your engagement session is on a bright beach, white can look really nice like in the photo above.  Adam's smaller stripes in his shirt complement Stephanie's white shirt and I also positioned her slightly behind Adam to minimize the white shirt and accentuate Adam's broad shoulders.  If you want to take attention away from any part of the body, cover it up, wear darker tones or small patterns instead of bold ones.  For women, a flowing dress or skirt can be very flattering.  Solid colors or very small patterns in a dress, blouse or top are wonderful.  Guys can go 'untucked' or wear a vest or jacket like the couple in the photo below.  In these photos, the faces and hands are the brightest lights in the images. Engagement session clothing ideas. Kim Bova Photography, CT wedding Photographer, What should we wear for our engagement session? 3- Dress as if you are going out for lunch or a casual dinner for your engagement photo session.  That means step it up a notch like Andrea and Jim above. 4- Coordinate colors.  If you and your fiancé lay out your clothes next to each other you will find some complementary colors.  Example: yellow and blue, green and red are opposites on the color wheel. (Click here to see the color wheel.)  Different shades of each color can be tried out to find some good complementary clothes to at your engagement session.  Find your favorite blouse or dress with multiple colors and pick one for the shirt color that your fiancé may already have in his closet!  Look how nice this color combo looks below.  This couple chose to be more casual. Kim Bova Photography, Engagement Sessions in CT, What should we wear for our engagement session? 5- Location and style choices.  Where is your engagement session taking place?  The location will influence your clothing choices.  Wear what is appropriate for a city landscape and likewise, what is good for the country.  This may be obvious for some, but I have had couples show up in clothes that were more appropriate for a night out dancing than for a country setting in the fall.  High heels are difficult in meadows and fields. Engagement Sessions, Kim Bova Photography, CT Wedding Photographer, Kim Bova Photography, what to wear for our engagement session 6- Bring a couple of changes of clothes.   Having different outfits to be photographed in gives you more variety.  For example, start with a dress and change to jeans.  Or, guys in a button-down shirt can change into something more casual.  This gives you options when you pick the final photos and helps with variety in an album. So what you are going to do with your engagement photos?  Will one or more images be printed up for family gifts or for your own walls?  Are you going to use them in a sign-in guest book for the reception table?  Maybe you only want one image for the newspaper and wedding announcements.  These decisions will help you know exactly what to wear to your engagement session. If these are the first professional photos of you as a couple, print them up and enjoy them on your walls or in an album.  They will last for a lifetime! I hope this answers the question, 'What should I wear for my engagement session?'   Your clothing choices, your expressions and interaction together in your engagement photos are what will communicate your love for each other.  That is what will make your engagement photos the best ever.  So pick out some favorite clothes and have fun with it! Give me a call if you have any questions or if you are looking for a wedding photographer for your engagement and wedding.  We can see if we are a good match to work together.   Thanks for stopping by my blog and feel free to sign up for my newsletter on my website for more helpful information about Weddings and Engagements, portraits and more.

Seaside Wedding in Westbrook, CT

I had the honor of photographing Tracey and Chris's wedding in Westbrook, CT.  It was a perfect June day to be on the Long Island Sound.  The Elks Lodge in Westbrook was a wonderful place for a small and intimate wedding of family and friends.  Tracey and Chris were supported by their two amazing sons, close family and wonderful friends.  Congratulations to this couple!  Here are a few photos from the day.
Kim Bova Photography, Seaside Wedding in Westbrook, CT, Best of Weddings, Bridal bouquets, Tracey and Chris Westbrook CT Wedding

Bouquet by Laganas, of Middletown, CT

Kim Bova Photography, Wedding Gown, Best CT Wedding Photography, Seaside Wedding in Westbrook, CT

Dress by Bridal Bells, Berlin, CT

Kim Bova Photography, CT Weddings, Affordable Weddings, Wedding Bouquets, Seaside Wedding in Westbrook, CT

A quiet Moment before the ceremony

Kim Bova Photography, Seaside Wedding in Westbrook, CT, Westbrook Elks Lodge Weddings, CT

First Kiss as Husband and Wife!

Kim Bova Photography, Seaside Wedding Westbrook, CT, Kim Bova Photography

First Dance

Seaside Wedding WestBrook CT, Kim Bova Photography, CT Weddings

Joined by their two sons!

Kim Bova Photography, CT Wedding Photography, Wedding in Westbrook, CT

DJ - David Murphy of Mike Connelly Sound Productions

Wedding in Westbrook, CT, Kim Bova Photography, Elks Lodge

Travel Photography

Travel Photography, France, Honfleur, Kim Bova Photography

Honfleur, France.  On the southern quay stands the 14th-century Church of St.-Etienne, Honfleur's oldest building.  The reflections here was amazing at various times of day.

Travel Photography has always been a love of mine.  Since I was young and traveled with my parents, I loved to make photos of the places we visited here in the U.S.  Many of you may know that I took some time off from my usual work of Wedding and Portrait Photography and went to Europe on a personal trip.   I went with my family to five countries over the course of 3 weeks.  I do not consider myself a Landscape artist, but I love making photographs of anything and anywhere.  I actually ditched my professional photo gear for those 3 weeks and brought a relatively inexpensive mirrorless camera with me.  We decided to travel light with backpacks only which was a great decision.  I picked up Lumix G85 with a 12-35 lens (the mirrorless equivalent to a 24-70mm lens).  I was happy I did, though I did miss the amazing quality of my Nikon camera and lenses.  I took it as a challenge to make the best images I could with what I had. I absolutely fell in love with France some years ago and have been back twice now.  I also took time to learn some french which made this trip the best ever.  Highly recommended for a better experience in a foreign country.  I will begin with the little town of Honfleur which sits on the coast of Normandy where the Seine meets the English Channel.
Honfleur, France, Kim Bova Photography, Travel Photography

This was a fortress town because of its location on the Seine and English Channel.  The older building upper left, was part of the original fortifications and is dedicated to Samuel de Champlain who was busy exposing Canada at that time.  They called this building, 'The Lieutenant'.

Here is the northern quay in the evening, you see tall narrow houses with slate roofs which date back to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.  A lovely spot to eat and drink local cider.  Had to be careful as we sat eating - the swallows were nesting under the eaves and I was christened by one as it flew in and out feeding its young. Missed my plate luckily.

This area is famous for Cider and we drank plenty of it.  My son is an Orchardist and makes his own cider, so he researched the best places to go.   Within a mile of town we found this Cider House called Manor d'Apreval.  (  The owner is Agathe Letelier. Her family has been there for many generations making this earthy and delicious cider. She only uses organic methods passed down through the generations.  The cows graze among the apple trees to feed the soil.  I have never tasted anything as delicious and unique than the cider we had there.  An experience I will not soon forget.  Plus, we went early in the season in May, so no tourists were there, just us!
The Cider Trail, Normandy, Kim Bova Photography, Travel Photography, Normandy, France

The tasting room is inside this building. We spent a good hour with Agathe discussing her methods in making cider. This is where it started here in this region of France. It was an amazing experience.  So go early when they open if possible to avoid large crowds, or go early in the season like we did in May!  Nothing like a personal cider tasting with Agathe!

The Cider Trail, Kim Bova Photography, Travel Photography, Normandy, France

They were repairing the thatch roof on the storage house that day!  Wonderful to watch how they do it.

Kim Bova Photography, Normandy, Honfleur, France, Travel Photography

The unique stone walls and streets of Honfleur.  We walk everywhere around this beautiful town.  Many galleries are here as well, as many painters such a Boudin lived and painted here.  Also Erik Satie, the musician and composer also was born and lived here.  There are museums for each of them and are definitely worth a visit.

Travel Photography, Kim Bova Photography, Honfleur, France,

Loved the colors and variety of stone over the centuries. A well preserved town because it was untouched in WWII.

Honfleur, France, Kim Bova Photography, Travel Photography

Morning before the town came to life. A view of the north side of the town on our walk to the beach.  A little distorted by my wide angle lens - it is NOT and leaning tower.

Honfleur, France, Kim Bova Photography, Travel Photography

On the Beach looking out at the English Channel with our shadows... proof that we were there!

I will continue to share my travel photography from this adventure, so check back soon for more of France images . Up next will be Mont St. Michel, the amazing World Heritage Site. Thank you for stopping by my blog!  

Attention Rising Seniors – the time is NOW!

Attention Rising Seniors- Class of 2018! Believe it or not, it is time for you to schedule a Senior Portrait Session!  You will be a senior soon so here is the scoop: Summer is the best time to be photographed!

Here is why:

  • High School Seniors have more time in summer than in autumn.  Less school stress and more fun because autumn semester is very busy.
  • We can photograph a wider range of 'looks' when it is warm outside.  You may bring that cool varsity jacket, prom dress, boots, sandals, shorts and more!
  • Most High School Seniors love how they look with a tan and so relaxed in the summer.  You can even bring a buddy!
  • There are discounts for Rising Seniors who sign up early for late June and July dates!

Call today !  Contact me now for a complimentary meeting to discuss your High School Senior Portraits; we can set a date for summer if you decide I am the right photographer for you.  These sessions fill up quickly!  Come in and meet Kim- she will show you the cool stuff you can do with your photos.

Here are a few shots from an EO Smith High School Senior that I photographed last year.  Meet Ryan, a football star and great kid all around!  We had a great time on his senior safari. Attention Rising Seniors, Portraits, Kim Bova Photography, CT Portrait Photographer Attention Rising Seniors, Kim Bova Photography, CT Portrait Photographer Attention Rising Seniors, Portrait Photography, Kim Bova Photography, Custom High School Senior Portraits   View MORE senior portrait samples HERE.

Ten Tips for the Aspiring Wedding Photographer.

Ten Tips For The Aspiring Wedding Photographer, CT Weddings, Kim Bova Photography   Ten Tips For the aspiring wedding photographer will, I hope, help those interested in this kind of career.  I think in person education with a mentor is most valuable.  If you have already taken the leap and feel that you just jumped into more than you bargained for, this post is for YOU!

 Ten Ten Tips For The Aspiring Wedding Photographer:

  1. GEAR and SKILLS:  This is the MOST important of the ten tips for the aspiring wedding photographer.  It takes time but please do it.  First, learn what good light is and how to find it or create it.  Be in complete control of your camera settings and exposures so you don't have to look at the camera to find them.  The camera must be professional in quality with high ISO capability, auto focus and at least 2-3 lenses that are fast.  You will be working in low light situations. Have lenses that are at least f 2.8 and that cover wide angle from at least 24mm and one that can zoom to 200mm, I carry two zooms -24-80 and 80-200mm,  plus a 105 macro lens for details.  You must have at least 2 flashes and know how to use them ON AND OFF the camera.
  2. ASSIST a wedding photographer to see how the day flows.  Preparation is key because you don't have time to think sometimes at a wedding.  Moments happen and you have anticipate and be ready.  I am happy to be a resource for anyone who needs help or guidance.
  3. JOIN at least one of these organizations:  Professional Photographers of America organization.  This is a national organization with local state chapters, and one in CT.  There is education here plus equipment and indemnification insurance that come with membership.  Networking with other photographers in you area is helpful as well.  Also join WPPI.  This is 'Wedding and Portrait Photographers International'.  Visit their website, go to their convention next year and see what is happening in the world of Wedding photography.   This experience was what got me off to a good start in my Wedding Photography business.
  4. BACKUP: Have two of everything with you at each job.  Two Cameras, at least 2 flashes, 2-3 lenses or more, if one malfunctions, you still have something to shoot with.  have extra batteries for everything.  Bring many memory cards with you incase one corrupts or you  you run out of room on them.  Have a good bag to hold all your gear safely.
  5. TEST all your gear at least 3-5 days before a wedding so if something is malfunctioning you can rent something.  Nothing will sap confidence on the day if you are not sure something is working perfectly.
  6. MEETING with your clients in person.  Get to know who they are, what they want and make a timeline plan with them.  If you are not on the same page as your clients, there may be misunderstandings and you may not be able to give them what they were expecting.
  7. SCOUTING the venue before the wedding day is essential.  Bring your camera to test out places for portraits, or trouble shoot issues and prepare.  Call ahead - most venues will welcome you so, make an appointment with the event manager there and they'll help you gladly as they want the best for their client as well.
  8. THE CHECK LIST: Make one and check it three times so you don't forget something that day.  A snack is a good thing to bring as, too.
  9. CONTRACTS AND INSURANCE.  This protects you and your clients.  There are sample contracts on the PPA website that you can personalize to your business available to all members.  Get Insurance to protect you. This is also a PPA benefit with membership.
  10. PRICE IT RIGHT:   Starting out you may not be able to command very high fees, but you do NOT want to undercut your fellow photographers by doing free or very low pricing as that devalues what you do and brings everyone down.  Get the knowledge you need, practice your skills, study with a mentor.  Then you can charge a reasonable fee -  you will be working very hard and very long hours before, during and after the wedding day.
Take these Ten Tips for the aspiring wedding photographer as a beginning only.   People are counting on you to capture their day in beautiful photographs.  You do not want to disappoint them or it will be hard to stay in business. Feel free to contact me if you are a photographer that wants to learn more about wedding photography or interested in getting better.   I have ten years of experience and I will be offering a workshop specifically for photographers interested in wedding photography if there is enough interest.  So share this post and help me spread the word.  Thank you!   KimTen Tips For The Aspiring Wedding Photographer, Kim Bova Photography, Learn Wedding Photography