I know it’s a perfect fit when a client wants to get up for a sunrise engagement shoot!  Jackie & Christian were dog sitting the weekend we scheduled their engagement shoot.  They were ALSO in the process of purchasing their first house together.  Congrats by the way!  Let’s just say it was a busy weekend but they were troopers for still wanting to step in front of my camera.  This gorgeous couple wanted to remember where they started as a couple and photograph in their neighborhood.  There were so many hidden gems there.  We had so much fun walking around Somerville together.

We started photographing their engagement shoot at Prospect Hill Park in Somerville.  We then wondered around, stopped by the busy streets of Union Square and then ended at a local coffee shop to warm up.  It was so fun to sit back and watch them interact as a couple.  They have so much fun together.

Jackie & Christian you are both lovable people!  I seriously cannot wait for your wedding day.  You are an amazing, caring couple.  I love how your engagement shoot describes you guys as a couple and now you will have great memories of your neighborhood for you to cherish.

September can’t come soon enough!  Enjoy some of my favorites!

xoxo Jen Araya

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A couple weekends ago I was showered with generous gifts for Baby Pidg at my Baby Shower.  My mom, Aunt, and Sister in Law, Ashley put on an amazing shower for us.  I’m so thankful for my family!  I was surrounded by my closet friends and family who care about Sean, Baby Pidg and I.  We registered at Babies R Us and Pottery Barn.  I had no idea where the shower was, I just knew the date and the day before I was told what time to be ready.  I was completely fine that it.  I sat back and enjoyed!  My shower was at Carbone’s in Hopkinton, MA.  Yummy food!  It was better than I could have ever imagined.

Here are a couple of my favorite moments:

  • The theme and decorations were “Who Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” by Mo Willems and it fits us perfectly. Ashley thank you for EVERYTHING!!!  It was amazing!  If you have not read any of those books, I highly recommend these children books.  It all started with the hashtag #babypidg
  • They had all of my favorite foods on the menu for the day
  • One of my best friends from college surprised me by being at my shower. I was under the impression she wasn’t going to be there because of work, but it all worked out!  I was so happy to see her, thanks Keri for making the trek.
  • My closet friends were there and it made me feel so GRATEFUL for their friendship for so MANY years!
  • My little cousin Ryan showed up from his Tee-ball game. He helped with some of the decorations and coloring.  He wanted to be a part of it, and it still melts my heart!  Ryan also gave Baby Pidg a gift, his toy cell phone for the baby to use, again heart melting!
  • I made sure to announce that the Buffalo Bill onesies were not welcomed in my house, Go Pats! Sorry babe!  Baby Pidg can pick which NFL team he or she wants to cheer for.
  • I was super emotional the next day looking at all the gifts. Damn hormones!
  • One regret – I didn’t get any photos with my family. Being a photographer this is really important.  So learn from my mistake and get those photos taken right when you arrive.

The nursery is still getting organized and as ready as it can be if Baby Pidg were to arrive early.  Of course I want everything to be perfect but let’s face it, I’m not perfect and neither is my life.  I’m not going to stress about the room not being ready.  We made a trip to Babies R Us afterwards to get more necessities that were needed like wipes for baby Pidg’s arrival.  After that trip I feel way better about having everything we need, so I’m not going to stress about it 🙂

Xoxo Jen Araya

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Kristi & Ryan had a small intimate wedding along the ocean at The House of Seven Gables in Salem, MA.  When I say small, I mean small. Just 17 guests total.  They had their closest family and friends witness their love for each other.  It was the perfect setting for them and they got to spend time with each and every guest there!

A special moment was when Kristi’s aunt, grandmother, mother and sister in law gave Kristi presents that had a special meaning to them.  Her mom bought her something new, a beautiful bracelet.  Her grandmother gave her earrings to wear on her wedding day.  Her aunt gave her a necklace that her mother/grandmother wore and Kristi wrapped it around her bouquet so her grandmother was a part of her special day.  Her sister in law gave her something blue, a garter to wear.  Fast forward to family photos, Kristi yelled out, “There’s a cardinal” and I was like, “oh cool.”  Little did I know, it was a sign that her grandmother was close by and with the cardinal, the tears came.  It was so SPECIAL and I’m so glad I was already capturing that moment. A moment that Kristi will never forget!  I’m really lucky to witness these moments as I love this job!

All the guests gathered onto the Trolley and we took a tour around Salem.  We went on a short excursion around the historic town until we made it to our destination, Turner’s Seafood to finish celebrating Kristi & Ryan.  It’s their favorite restaurant so it was very fitting for this happy couple.  This was my first time photographing an intimate wedding and I hope it’s not the last!  It was so sweet to get to know ALL of the guests!!!  Thank you for making me feel like I was a part of your family.

Kristi and Ryan, I hope you enjoyed your honeymoon in Italy!  I’m lucky to call you friends now and hope you enjoy some of my favorites.

Xoxo Jen Araya

Thank you to the amazing vendors:

Ceremony – House of Seven Gables

Reception – Turner’s Seafood

Hair & Makeup – Radiance Salon

Florist – Dave Eng’s Flowers

Cake/Cupcakes – Cakes For Occasions

Dress – L’Elite Occasions

Groom’s Attire – Shaban’s Tailor Shop

  • May 19, 2017 - 2:00 pm

    Jim Marcinelli - Thanks Jen… outstanding job… it was the best wedding I’ve attended… a perfect, beautiful day that you captured so well.ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2017 - 12:59 am

    Debra Marcionette - What a beautiful bride and day! Kristi and Ryan are beaming throughout … you both look so happy, and I’m so happy for you! Congrats! XOXOXReplyCancel

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This week is National Infertility Awareness Week.  To all of the couples struggling to conceive, you are not alone!  1 in 8 couples will struggle with infertility.  More than you think.  It’s a sensitive topic that not many people are comfortable talking about.  Today I will be sharing a few things about our IVF Journey.

What I’ve learned from going through IVF:

  • It’s a full time job! Besides meeting with your doctor (shout out to Dr. Pang at IVF New England) everything is based on your cycle.  Doesn’t matter what you have on the agenda.
  • At times they will take up to 5-7 viles of blood. Make sure to drink water before your blood-work so the nurses don’t have trouble finding a vein.
  • When the nurses call you daily, make the time to take the call. Ask any questions you have, they are EXTREMELY helpful.
  • The nurses took care of all the paperwork with the insurance. It was amazing and God bless them.  It was one aspect of the process we didn’t have to deal with.
  • Write everything down in a journal. It’s fun to look back on my numbers from my blood-work.
  • Make sure to read the medicine once it arrives and know which ones need to be refrigerated and which ones at room temperature! TRUST ME!  It will save you 2 hours on the phone with the pharmacy.
  • Make sure to watch the videos before you start the medicine.
  • Egg retrieval is the worst part of the process. The unknowns, the cramping, bloating, the surgery, etc.  It took me over a month to start feeling like myself again.
  • If you decide to do genetic testing like we did, transfer will not happen right away. It takes about 2-3 weeks to get the results, which I either didn’t hear this part or I forgot.  I was frustrated that transfer wasn’t happening right away but in the end it was all about timing.  We had to wait 2 more months because of my cycle, but it worked out for us because now I have the summer off and the best part my body healed after egg retrieval.
  • Transfer is the easiest part of the process! It’s an exciting time.
  • Make sure to ALWAYS COMMUNICATE with you partner, it’s not just about you! Your partner is feeling emotions just like you are.  Make sure to go out on dates together.  Celebrate each step of the process.
  • IVF New England is AMAZING!!!

I hope this helps anyone thinking about looking into IVF, have already started the process or are currently in the process.  Don’t be ashamed of your story; just think it could inspire others!  Just make sure you share your story when you are ready!  This took me awhile to talk about.  Things happen for a reason and you are strong!  I’m here if you ever need to talk!

Enjoy some photos taken with my camera and iPhone!

Xoxo Jen Araya

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My 33rd Birthday was this week and I thought it would be a good idea to self-reflect on my 32nd year.  This year was all about learning!  This year made me realize what is most important to me.  This year was a tough one, yes, but I wouldn’t change it if I could.  Deciding to look into our options with IVF was the best decision we made.  Things happen for a reason and it was worth it!  Also taking a step back and putting my family, I mean my husband, first was also important while we were going through the IVF process.

A lot of positives in my 32nd year of life!  I had an awesome year with LOTS of laughs, get-togethers, toasting and drinking champagne.  I watched couples get married throughout the year, won our league softball championship game, photographed some amazing clients that I call friends, took a spontaneous trip to Florida with my best friend, spent a long weekend walking around NYC together with my love and endless days lounging on the beach (my favorite place if you didn’t know that already).

Turning 33 is going to be the biggest year of my life!  I’ll become a mom, which is one of my ultimate goals!  This baby is going to change our lives for the better.  I will continue to grow and learn a lot more about myself.  I’ve slowed down since being pregnant and have taken a step back to enjoy life, which for someone who is a planner, is a big deal!  This journey of having a baby is just another adventure in my life that I’m SO LOOKING FORWARD TO!!  Cheers to turning 33 and enjoy a glass of champagne for me!!!!!

Xoxo Jen Araya

  • April 20, 2017 - 1:00 am

    Robin - Congratulations on your pregnancy – so exciting! I hope this year brings many happy memories for your family – I’m sure it will!ReplyCancel

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