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Proud pup mom, type A creative, lover of the outdoors, Top Chef fan girl, and wedding and portrait photographer. Welcome to the blog!
HI, I'M RACHEL!
What a joy it is to share photos of these New England autumn prints from my trip to NE in October!
If you follow along on Instagram or if you read Cat and Parth’s wedding blog post, you probably recall that I was in New England in October of this year. Cat and Parth brought me in to photograph their big day. And I decided to make an adventure out of it! Initially I had chosen to fly to the wedding. And about two weeks before the wedding, I pulled an audible (whoa, did I just make a sports analogy?!) and decided to drive.
Rental car prices that weekend were astronomical, so flying all of a sudden became not so feasible. I needed a car to do location scouting, so taking a ride share everywhere wasn’t going to work. The only answer was to drive my own car! I decided to break up the trip and spend the night at hotels along the way. And once I started looking into areas to rest for the night, I realized there was a lot to explore!
My first stop was Cranbury, NJ. I loved the idea that I was traveling in the fall and the first place I stopped was named Cranbury! While I didn’t get to explore that town, it was the perfect place to stop after a night of driving. The following morning I woke up early to attend my weekly networking meeting via Zoom. And then headed out to make my way to my next stop: Essex, Connecticut.
I had read that the town of Stars Hollow in one of my fav shows, Gilmore Girls, was based on Essex (I’ve since learned that’s incorrect!). Y’all – I was beside myself excited to visit this town! And even if it wasn’t the exact right town, it really did remind me of Gilmore Girls in so many ways! This first set of photos is from my afternoon in Essex.
On my way into Essex, I passed this quintessential New England pond surrounded by colorful trees! (I passed several of these btw – this was the only one with a place to park nearby.) I stopped and walked around to snap some shots.
From Essex I made my way to Boston. I had a hotel near the airport for my stay. Cat and Parth’s wedding was in Rockport, which was about a 50 minute drive from where my hotel was. I had a whole day to explore, and that I did! I had initially planned to spend a good amount of time in Salem, MA. It was October and I figured it would be cool to visit the town. I listened to Salem, The Podcast, including a bunch of episodes on the witch trials, to prepare. Well, I arrived in the town and it was mobbed! After driving around for an hour looking for parking to no avail, I decided to skip it. Womp womp.
I made my way to Manchester by the Sea. I didn’t take any photos there with my camera (just cell pics) because it was raining. I got out my umbrella, walked around the town, then hopped back in the car. I had an inkling to drive down the main road and I was glad I did, because I came upon a really cool beach! There were cliffs surrounding the beach and the waves were raging! I had never seen anything like it!
I left Manchester by the Sea and drove to Rockport, MA, to do some exploring of the town where Cat and Parth would be married the next day. The town is fairly small and Cat wanted to walk from her childhood home to this gorgeous cliff overlooking the ocean. And then walk the rest of the way to their wedding venue. I knew I needed to check out all three locations. As well as actually do the walk.
My first stop was the Headlands – the incredible cliff overlooking the town and ocean. When I arrived it was drizzling and foggy. I was super disappointed because the views were completely hidden behind the fog. I looked around, made some plans, and then headed to the little town to park and find something to eat.
After my lunch of lobster roll and French fries, I decided to do some exploring. I walked all over! I literally walked the entire route from Cat’s getting ready location to the Headlands, all through town, and then finally to the venue. Y’all. This town is amazing. It’s so picturesque and so unique! I had never seen anything like it before. The main street sits on this narrow piece of land that juts out over the water. Everything is crammed in so beautifully and it’s quaint AF. As I walked through town, the sun started to come out and I could finally see the views!
Since the sun came out and the fog cleared, I decided to go back to the headlands so I could see the view. And oh man, was it spectacular!
From here the photos jump ahead to the day after the wedding. My plan for the day after the wedding was to checkout of my hotel and head to Hartford, CT, to do some sight-seeing before landing at my final hotel in Norwalk, CT. However, the night of the wedding I had lost my cell phone! I was able to make it back to my hotel using my car’s navigation system. And when I got on my computer I had an email from the coordinator and a bridesmaid that they had my phone. Thank goodness! I made plans to pick it up the following day. Which meant I had to drive an hour in the wrong direction, plus the hour back, which added two extra hours to my four hour drive – six total hours now.
Since I was in Rockport again, I decided to check out Halibut Point. When I was taking portraits of Cat and Parth on the beach the night before, we passed a couple who said they got married at Halibut Point. When I asked the newlyweds what it was, it sounded too good to pass up! I decided to forego exploring Hartford, and take advantage of my time in Rockport to visit Halibut Point. And I’m so glad I did! It’s a huge park, and on your way to the ocean views, you pass an old quarry. I walked around the entire quarry taking photos before making my way to the cliffs to check out the ocean views.
There are no photos from the rest of the trip because it was all driving! I did see so many beautiful things along the way though! Including on my drive out of Rockport along what I think was the northern coast of Cape Anne. It gutted me to not stop at the dozen picturesque spots along the way, but I needed to make my way to my next stop. The Massachusetts Turnpike was stunning with all the autumn foliage along the way!
This trip was just so wonderful and I’m so glad I did it this way! Driving was challenging because it was a lot of time sitting and getting stiff and sore, especially after the wedding. But it was so worth it to have my car and be able to explore. Not to mention to just see all the beautiful scenery along the drive. I will treasure my time in these locations forever! And I hope to go back again for another visit.
If any of these photos stand out to you and you’d like for them to decorate your home – they are available for purchase in the print shop.
Did this post get you excited to book your own portrait session in beautiful scenery like this?! If yes, send me a note and we can chat about what you have in mind: contact me
Hi – I’m Rachel! A wedding, engagements, and headshots photographer in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and northern Virginia. I love helping individuals and couples feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. If you’re a dog owner, that’s a plus! I’m currently booking 2022-2023 portrait sessions and elopements, as well as 2023-2024 weddings.
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Rachel is a wedding and portrait photographer
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