Portsmouth, NH Engagement Session: Steph + Phil

Nov 24, 2010 | Engagements

Steph and Phil have been waiting a while for their photos, but I promised them it would be worth it.  A couple of weeks back, I went to Kansas City for the Foundation Conference, and I came back so excited to shoot.  I was ready to get in closer, get to know my subjects a little better, and to search for the real people behind the smiles.  I wanted to produce better images, with more emotion, a better reflection of who my clients are as people, and who they are as couples.    Phil and Steph were my Guinea-pigs.  I still have a long way to travel on this road, but I’m so very happy with the direction I’m heading in …

We started out at Phil’s perfect and tiny house.  It will become their home together after the wedding – Steph will be quitting her job in NYC and moving north to explore a new life.

Phil is a phenomenal landscape photographer (view his work here, and on his wonderful local flavor blog, here) and Steph has a degree in Photography (so, about three years more formal training than me!)  It is an incredible honor photographing photographers, but it also makes me nervous as hell.  Phil’s home is filled with beautiful old cameras, bright, colorful canvases and old black and white prints.

The majority of our session was spent exploring Portsmouth.  First, some photos in front of the church they attend together:

Outside their favorite wine bar:

I had to take a couple of shots here – it’s the florist they’re using for their wedding (and the store front had great windows!)

I wanted to capture their childlike sense of fun … 🙂

Loved the bright colors here:

They make each other laugh a lot.  Love it!

Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth features in many of Phil’s photographs (click here) … so we made a little stop there.  I love how this came out!  So much better bigger than on the preview screen of my camera!  Also, they got engaged on a bridge (Brooklyn Bridge, in fact).

I loved the older part of town that we wandered through.  The architecture was wonderful, as were the colors:

These guys needed no direction … I love how they interact with each other: so natural, and with so much warmth:

Thank you both for a glorious afternoon, and for unwittingly becoming my favorite ever photographic experiment.  I hope you enjoy your teasers, and I can’t wait to continue the story at your wedding at Wentworth by the Sea next summer!


  1. Love these Kate! Your experiment definitely worked out.

  2. Kate – these are so incredibly wonderful!! It was such a treat to be your guinea pigs for the day, and you’ve definitely taken my breath away with the moments you captured. We loved touring Portsmouth with you and enjoyed sharing our little slice of paradise in NH. The colors and the clarity here are insane – the photos have definitely exceeded our hopes.

    Can’t wait for July!

  3. OMG Kate these are fantastic!! I was walking through the mall when I saw on my phone that they were posted so I ran to the apple store to view them on a huge cinema display! They are better than I could have ever imagined. You are truly a fantastic photographer!!

  4. These are beautiful Kate! I love Portsmouth it’s such a fun background and brings back great memories 🙂

  5. Thank you all so much! Steph, that is too funny. 🙂

  6. Inspiringly gorgeous portraits Kate! I’ve been enjoying taking a peek at Phil’s work too. I love his tug boats in the snow image.

  7. Gorgeous Kate! definitely a good experiment!! Looking forward to more in the future!

  8. Thanks, Phil + Tracy 🙂

  9. Druling a bit over the Hassleblad. That looks like such a pretty camera. I’ve been wanting to get one for so long, but they are just so much work compared to a digital body.



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