Personal | Our Grand Manan Portrait Session [Part 1-The Birdhouse]

Personal | Our Grand Manan Portrait Session [Part 1-The Birdhouse]

“Our Place”.

This is what we’ve called The Birdhouse, at Castalia Marsh Retreat in Grand Manan, since we first started going there 5 years ago. This quirky, hand-built cabin is pure magic, plain and simple. It’s nothing fancy; the floors are tilted, the futon is lumpy, the shower is a faucet outside with 2 garden stones to stand on, the wood “stove” is precarious at best, and yet, the moment we set foot in there, our shoulders relax, the mainland disappears and we settle into our favourite place on the entire island, which happens to be the loft of this cabin on the marsh.

This year, for our 5th annual anniversary trip (we go to Grand Manan every year in September), I wanted to commemorate our favourite place with a photo session. Dan and I are not new to having our photos taken (as I’m sure many of you dear readers know), but this time I wanted something a bit more intimate, something capturing us not necessarily at our fanciest, but at the most ‘us’. I reached out to Hillary Hooper of Captured by Hillary mainly because she lived near the ferry and thought that perhaps she would be up for a session, and also because I admired her amazing progress in the few short years she has been in the industry. To my delight, she agreed to make the trip over and we had a lovely evening capturing photos first in The Birdhouse, then out at the iconic Swallowtail lighthouse (will share those in another post).

I love these images; I love that we are in sweats (our main attire these days), that we are drinking and on the deck and listening to guitar, I love that they are intimate without being too revealing (we joke that we didn’t want to intimate the poor girl!), I love that she captured all the little details about Dan in his later years that I’m loving like how he holds his hands and his armpit wrinkles (no, really, I told you I’m weird about my love for him), my stretch marks, our wrinkles, our gray hairs…it’s the most ‘us’ session we’ve done so far I think. Hillary did a great job working in a super tight space (like, the loft is the size of a bed), and in tricky lighting, I’m proud of her! It’s always so fun working with other creatives and seeing how they work and how they see us.

Thank you, Hillary, and thank you James for building your little Birdhouse all these years ago.


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