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Back to Our Roots

I’m a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason.”  So when I lost my job at the end of February, instead of viewing it as a major set back, we viewed it as a major opportunity.  An opportunity, to take back our lives.

I’ve been in Boston for just over 3 1/2 years now, and Jared for almost 3.  I’ve worked multiple jobs; one that I loved, one that I loathed and one that didn’t quite work out.  Coming down to the big city, one can’t help but want to fit in.  Shop at the higher end stores, wear the designer shoes, boots, sunglasses, purses, you name it.  Commuting into the city everyday we’re surrounded by people who are walking Coach/Burberry/Louis Vutton billboards.  I’d stare enviously at women who looked so perfectly put together, and think, I can do that.  But first, I’d need the right jacket, boots, hairstyle, makeup and purse.  And when I switched jobs in August of 2008, I suddenly had a reason to start new.

So I tried. I busted out the credit cards and made my way down to the outlets to hit up stores that I had never stepped foot into before; Banana Republic, JCrew, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren to name a few.  With a quick swipe of a card, I was on my way to creating the perfect work wardrobe.  Then came the shoes.  I left Nine West with six pairs of heels in one day.  Five of those pairs still sit untouched in my closet.  The bills mounted but I brushed it off and thought it was a small price to pay to fit the role of a Financial Advisor.  I had even considered upgrading my beloved Honda Civic because it was old, and not classy enough.  Who would invest their money with someone who drove a Honda?  I at least needed an Acura.

Jared was trying to fit in too.  He was trying to figure out his career path and took a real estate course to get licensed.  His teacher loved him and said she’d be happy to have him in her office should he want to work there.  He came home to share the news and we spent the night envisioning our future.  Jared a successful real estate agent, driving around town in his new BMW, chatting up his clients on their way to his next listing.  Me, a successful financial advisor, with client meetings all over town.

We even began to look at houses, since Jared was convinced we needed to buy one and settle in down here.  The prices were astronomical.  Homes that would go for $40,000 in upstate NY were selling for close to $400,000.  I wish I was exaggerating. We toured an old Cape Cod style home, with beautiful hardwood floors, fireplace in the living room and tons of natural light pouring in.  The dining area was equally gorgeous.  And then we saw the outdated kitchen.  And the enclosed back porch that was leaning into the backyard.  And when I say backyard, I’m talking about something you could mow in three paces back and forth.  There was a downstairs “bedroom”, probably 8×8, no closet.  Then we asked where the stairs were.  The agent pointed to a narrow cut-out in the dining room.  Walking into it, we turned into a completely encased stairway that I could barely fit my shoulders through.  Again, I wish I was exaggerating.  The two upstairs “bedrooms” were also tiny and with no closets.  How anyone could fit a mattress through that staircase was beyond us.  And the price was $390,000.  And I’m willing to bet someone bought it.  After attending a few more open houses, we realized that if we stayed in MA, home ownership would be in the very distant future.

Soon enough, the new lifestyle began to take its toll.  That, and I was working twelve hour days doing something completely different than what I was led to believe.  So I quit.  I walked into my supervisor’s office on Monday morning, with knots in my stomach like I did every single day I worked there.  He asked me what I had planned for the day, since I was to plan out every hour of my day and review it with him each morning while training.  I told him nothing.  I had nothing planned for the day. And then I proceeded to break down.  Told him it was too much.  That I wasn’t a quitter but that I also was not going to live my life that way.  Stuck inside a building for twelve hours.  So I said my tearful goodbyes to the people I had hardly known and I went home.  I allowed myself the day to mope and come Tuesday morning, I was online looking for jobs.  And that very next day, I found one.

So here we are,  two years later and I’ve been let go from that job I so quickly found.  That’s another long story that’s a little too fresh to tell ;-).  But I’m happy to report that Jared and I have come full circle and back to ourselves.  We’re back at Old Navy, REI and EMS, picking out clothes.  We’re ok with not looking like everyone else down here because we don’t need to fit in anymore.  And that’s how we know we wanted to move.  And not just anywhere, but to a community of people living the lifestyle we want.  People who know that this life is meant to be lived to its fullest.  That the most important things in life aren’t things at all.  They’re people. Family. Friends. Relationships. That time is invaluable.  And that savoring every moment we are given is what it’s all about. Those are the things that truly matter.

We want to get back to the simple joys that come with living in the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains.  Where it is encouraged to be creative and get outdoors.  And thankfully, we have the skills to make a living doing just that.  With photography, we are creating the life we want to live every single day.

But we’re not just photographers.  We’re not just going to take your picture, hand you a disc and walk out of your life.  You welcome us into your lives and families and in turn, we welcome you into ours.  We’ll become friends and welcome you into our Jared and Debbie family which is how you will be treated, like family.  Because we wouldn’t want it any other way.

With this move, we understand that growing a business in the North Country is not going to be easy.  We may not be the right photographers for everyone.  And that’s ok. We completely understand that.

However we do know that we will be the right photographers for a lot of people.

Couples who want their future children to look at their wedding album and truly see the love and excitement their parents had for each other on that day.
Mothers who want to remember the anticipation and excitement of the little one growing inside of them.
Parents who want the precious first days of their newborn’s life to be captured beautifully forever.
Families who want to their real smiles, expressions and interactions displayed in a family portrait.
Seniors who want to remember the joys of high school and the excitement of the journey that lies ahead.

Those are the people we want to photograph.  Clients who will become our friends and family.  Because we wouldn’t want it any other way.

If you’ve read this far, we’d love to give you a great big hug!  Even better, we’d love to take your picture!!  Thanks for reading and we do hope that you will join us in our journey.

Jared and Debbie Photography will officially be located in the beautiful North Country of New York State in April of 2011.

Be sure to keep up with us on Facebook!

Nilda V. Negron - I wish you guys the best on your new journey together. I feel privileged to have worked with you. May the Lord bless your work, your family and your upcoming marriage. =)

Maureen - Hi Guys,
Great post! I grew up in Boston myself and honestly can say I’m happy to be away from the city. I don’t even like to go back to visit. I love it out here in CT with the cows. Good luck on your beautiful journey together!

Kristen - Debbie & Jared! I’m so very glad to hear your heading back North! It’ll be great to hang out and laugh together! Oh and by the way Deb, Heidi and I have recruited you for summer soccer league 🙂 if you need any help unpacking let me know!

Bob Palone - Congratulations, you have experienced what it took me thirty years on the job to figure out. I was a Manager with AT&T thirty years. After being on call 24/7, being screamed at by customers and fighting with the Union. I retired two days after hitting thirty years on the job. My boss and peers said I was crazy to leave at 55. I was being groomed for promotion.
I am so happy I left.

Good Luck with your business.

Bob Palone Jr………

Alanna - I loved reading the whole story! I believe that everything happens for a reason too, and I knw you guys are going to do fantastic up north. I know we’ll have a lake separating us but I really hope we can get together up there as we both try to build our businesses in the cold 🙂 Congratulations to you both!

Ally - I’m so happy for you guys! It’s going to be so nice to be home I’m sure and you will def be able to find ur dream home here! Evan and I are in the same boat especially after the wedding it is going to be time to settle down, buy a house and start a family and there is no where else we want to raise our children. Near family and friends in the place where we grew up! I’m so excited that you guys will be here to capture these moments which will help us treasure them always. If there is anything u need to help let me know. I already tell everyone what beautiful job u guys do and I know with some smart advertising everyone will see that:) good luck! Ps there are two houses for sale in Morrisonville on river st if u want to be neighbors;)

Sheryl Widberg - Been caught up reading your blog for cloes to an hour now. Thank you so much for stopping by my house that night. It was so great to meet you. I wish you and Jared the best in NY. Oh, and guess what? I’m officially a Nikon girl! Got my camera in the mail today. Be well!

Countdown to Mr. and Mrs. – The Engagement Story

August 15, 2010 was an absolutely gorgeous day.  We were up in Plattsburgh, enjoying a mini vacation and, per usual, decided to head up to Point Au Roche State Park first thing in the morning.  It’s one of our favorite gems in the North Country and Apollo‘s most beloved play place.  Between the trails, trees and water, he’s in dog heaven and frankly, so are we.

Before leaving the house,  Jared filled up his Camelbak backpack, which I thought was a little odd, but he simply said he might get thirsty and wanted to bring it along.

We arrived at the park and started along our usual loop.  The whole time Jared is giving me the sweetest look with his eyes and has the happiest smirk/smile on his face.  Not that he usually walks around frowning, but this struck me as a bit off because he was on the verge of giddiness.   Ok, I remember thinking, he must be really happy.

About thirty minutes in, Jared was throwing the tennis ball for Apollo and in Apollo’s typical “I’m a retriever but I really don’t like to retrieve” fashion, he decided to stop fetching it.  So, I casually picked it up and asked Jared to turn around so I could unzip his backpack and put the slobber filled tennis ball inside.

“No, let me do it,” Jared said as he swiftly turned to take the ball out of my hands, denying my access to the backpack.

“Ok,” I said, again thinking it was a little strange but shrugged it off just the same.

As we approached the end of the trail, Jared ventured out to long point, where the trees give way to a rock ledge that’s the perfect seat for two.  In my typical “I must get a picture of everything” fashion, I stepped out on the rock face below that leads into Lake Champlain and snapped a picture of my boys.

Jared beckoned me to come sit with him so I made my way over.  There was a perfect breeze coming off the water and as I sat down, Jared looked me in the eyes with the widest smile I’d ever seen on his face and told me he loved me.  I then noticed his left hand was mischievously behind his back and as I looked up to his face, he was already on one knee, asking me to marry him.  The tears of absolute joy and happiness streamed immediately from my face as I choked out a yes, grinning and laughing as Jared wiped the tears from my face.  Apparently Apollo was in agreeance because he barked the whole time!

(yes, those are my puffy “I’ve been crying eyes”)

We walked the trails back to the car, hand in hand, grinning ear to ear, realizing the love we thought couldn’t get any stronger just did.  And suddenly, him carrying the backpack didn’t seem so odd after all.

130 days until July 23, 2011, the day we become Mr. and Mrs.!

Sarah - Aww! What a cutie-cute story! I always love hearing about people’s engagement stories.

Jenn - We love Point Au Roche! My boyfriend grew up in Champlain, and it is his favorite spot:) Congrats–I love your website and your photography. You actually just photographed my boyfriend’s cousin, Katie, in her prom dress…looking forward to seeing the rest of the pictures!

Filly - I sure do love this story<3

Kye and Eric: Engaged!

Running on barely three hours of sleep, Eric came downstairs.  It was Superbowl Sunday and he managed to switch his shift and come home to watch the game with Kye.  Looking from the sliding glass doors out to the backyard I pointed, “Can we go out there?”

And by there, I was talking about Kye and Eric’s huge backyard, which just so happened to be covered with three feet of snow.  So Eric being the awesome guy that he is, grabbed the snowblower without hesitation and started clearing a path. And clear he did, all the way down to the grass, creating a perfect walkway out into the yard and it’s beautiful scenery.  Jared and I covered up in our snow pants and boots and out the back door we went!

Kye and Eric have been engaged for a little over a year now and Kye, being on top of her game like she is, had her dream wedding plans complete within one month of their engagement!  Craziness I tell you!  Their big day is this coming July and Jared and I are so excited to capture it for them!

Be prepared for image overload! There were just too many favorites from this session!

Adorable!

Hello gorgeous!

And a perfect ending to a perfect session!! Kye and Eric we cannot thank you enough for being so willing to go along with our crazy ideas!  Now who says you can’t do a shoot in the snow?!?  Not us!

The Sunday Paper: A Crossword a Day

His spot is in the big brown leather chair, feet outstretched on the ottoman.

Mine is the living room love seat, curled under a blanket.

We settle into our positions, mechanical pencils in hand and open to the next puzzle.  Keeping our eyes away from the page, we look at each other.

“Ready?”

“Go!”

Jared and I watched a Netflix movie a few weeks back where the couple had crossword puzzle races each night before bed. We immediately loved the idea and set out to pick up a couple of crossword books for races of our own.  We’ve been doing them for a few days now and while I’m slowly improving, Jared is blowing me out of the water.  We don’t really race per say, since neither one of us has successfully completed an entire puzzle without mistakes.  But it’s a good half hour of trying, followed by a few, “Did you get 31 down?  What about 3 across?”

Eventually we’re stumped, and turn to the back to check our answers.

And while the ads featuring Alex Trebek discussing the rising costs of funeral expense remind us that we’re aren’t likely crossword candidates, we have fun just the same.  And when we’re old and gray, we will proudly be the crossword champions of our senior group 🙂

Introducing: Baby Kamden!

Remember how stunning Tiana was in her maternity session?  Well, you can’t blame Kamden for sticking around in that perfect little belly that mommy created for almost two extra weeks!  He actually planned his arrival very strategically as it was the greatest birthday gift his Great-Grandmother could have asked for.

This was our FIRST EVER newborn session and we were so thrilled to have the opportunity to capture the most fleeting moments in Kamden’s first few days of life!

Kamden Scott, 8 days old 🙂

And the Facebook favorite…

Jared and I had tons of fun with Kam and learned so much!  We’re definitely looking forward to growing this side of our business.  What’s not to love about dreamy little babies ?!?!

Sarah - adorable! These are such wonderful shots! One day in many years to come, I’ll know who to call 🙂