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Monday, 19 July 2010
Love Story - Elizabeth & Kevin at Echo Lake Inn
Topic: Love Stories

The love story of Elizabeth & Kevin was published in the Summer 2010 issue of the Vermont Bride Magazine.  This issue came out (with our picture of Liza on the cover) just before their first anniversary - so, happy anniversary Liza & Kevin!

Elizabeth Tobin and Kevin Eddy were married at the Echo Lake Inn in Ludlow, Vermont, on July 19, 2009.  Ayer Photography of Vermont were their photographers and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra provided special music.  Liza' gown was from Fashion Corner Bridal, the flowers by Park Place, the cake by Irene's Cakes By Design, and the invitations by Lasso'd Moon.

Liza tells their love story in her own words this way:


"I knew that I wanted to marry Kevin the moment I saw him.  I didn't feel light headed or like I had been hit by lightening.  I felt a comfortable sense of calm when I saw Kevin.  It was as if the thing that I had been waiting for was finally here.  I just knew and I felt safe and quiet and happy.  Kevin says that he knew I was his future bride when I stood in line for hours at an autograph signing and never complained.

"The summer we met I was working at a local restaurant in downtown Rutland.  Kevin's best friend, Jeff Cassarino, was one of the bartenders.  Kevin and Jeff had been friends since childhood and were coaching high school football together.  Kevin would frequently come in on nights when Jeff was working.  He alway sat at the end of the bar, quietly chatting with folks he knew.  Eventually Jeff helped us to start talking.  I was excited to have finally met such a kind and handsome man, but when Jeff and Kevin went on vacation, my employment at the restaurant ended.  A few weeks later I was walking my dog and Kevin happened to pull up to me.  I was shocked and thrilled to see him again.  Kevin gave me his number and I tried to play it cool by waiting a day or two before calling him.  After that the rest is history."


"Kevin proposed on December 18th, 2007.  At the time, I was living with my parents in Rutland and Kevin was living in an apartment in Proctor, only seconds away from his sister, her husband and their children, Nathan (then 2) and Catherine (then 4).  Kevin called that evening and I was exhausted.  Only 4 hours earlier I had finished my nursing final exam for the semester.  I was stressed, anxious, and very, very tired.  My younger sister was expected to arrive home from college in a few hours and I was looking forward to spending time with her and decorating the Christmas tree with my family.  When Kevin called he insisted that I come to his sister's house.  Catherine had a special Christmas present that she needed to give us immediately.  I told him I wanted to stay home and relax and decorate the tree - maybe I would see him tomorrow.

"I eventually called Kevin to tell him I was on my way and a few minutes later I arrived at Kelly's house in Proctor.  I sat on the couch and Kevin came around the corner.  he was holding Catherine and she was dressed as an angel.  Kevin came towards me and said, 'Catherine has something she would like to ask you.'  He got down on one knee. I had no idea what was happening.  He handed me a small wooden box.  I still had no idea what was happening.  Despite Kevin being on one knee and me holding a box perfectly designed to hold a wedding ring, I still had no idea what was happening.  Finally, Kevin and Catherine said together, 'Will you be my auntie?'  I still had no idea what was happening.  Kevin told me to open the box and then I finally realized that this was it.  Kevin was finally proposing.  He had me convinced it was never going to happen.  So before I could say, yes, or I love you, I said, 'I hate you - you jerk' and a few other choice phrases.  I was laughing and crying and telling Kevin I hated him.  And then in between my tears and laughs, I sad yes!  I can still hear Kelly squealing and prancing around in the background.  I, of course, did not hate Kevin.  He just had me believing he was not ready.  For that moment to finally be happening was just unbelievable to me.

"The proposal was special for so many reasons.  Kevin had gone the traditional route and asked my father for his permission.  Catherine was my special Christmas angel and helped Kevin to give me the best present ever.  December 18th also marked a significant time for the Eddy family.  Many years ago, Kevin's father passed away in a tragic car accident.  kevin wanted to bring something special and positive to the day.  Instead of remembering it as the day they lost someone dear to them, they now could remember it as a day they gained another family member.  I am so happy that so many people were involved in the proposal and am so proud of Kevin for being able to create a unique and memorable story for us to share.


"Our wedding ceremony and reception were full of personal touches.  It is one of the many reasons our guests had such a wonderful time and why our wedding was so memorable.  The ceremony was performed in front of the wishing well at the Echo Lake Inn.  At the end of our ceremony we tossed pennies into the well.  Each penny was created in the year that we were born.  The penny represented the hopes and dreams that we had for ourselves and the wish for a long and happy marriage together.

"We were able to combine some of our favorite things to make our reception personal and meaningful.  I chose to incorporate the wedding colors into the cake and as a special cake topper, we had Irene create a buck and doe.  Kevin enjoys hunting and it was a special way to bring his passion into the wedding.  I also love animals, so in lieu of wedding favors, Kevin and I donated money and pet care items to the Addison County Humane Society in honor of our guests.

"Kevin loves collecting sports memorabilia and meeting famous athletes.  We used sports teams as our table numbers.  Our guests had ot look at the team roster to discover which table they had been drafted to.  In order to get us to kiss, our guests had to say the name of a player on their team.  Our guests loved the idea and had a great time trying to get us to kiss.

"The most special and personal touch to our wedding was the slide show presentation.  I collected pictures from our childhood, pictures of out friends, pictures of our family, and pictures of our parents as young people.  The slide show was set to some of our favorite songs and was projected onto the ceiling of the tent.  At the end we dedicated the presentation to Kevin's father, Alan Eddy.  I remember looking around at my family, watching their faces as they saw the pictures, and seeing the wide smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes.  It was a very special moment.


"Our favorite part of the wedding was seeing everyone share our joy.  The vendors helped make the day so special.  Form the music to the food and the ambiance, our guests enjoyed every minute of the experience.  The day was full of smiles and tears of happiness.  The evening was magical and everyone knew it.


"As you prepare to walk down the aisle to your future husband, take a moment to stop.  Look at your Dad and tell him how much you love him.  This is the last moment you have together before you ar no longer his little girl.  Relish the moment!"

For the full text and pictures of Liza and Kevin's love story, be sure to pick up a copy of the Summer 2010 issue of Vermont Bride Magazine or visit them online.

For a sample of the photos taken by Ayer Photography of Vermont at Kevin and Liza's wedding, click here.  To see the photobook design by Ayer Photography of Vermont of their wedding, click here

Posted by Warren

Posted by ayerphoto at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 July 2010 1:58 PM EDT
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Monday, 12 July 2010
The McGrath-Benware Wedding
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: Weddings

Our second wedding of the season took place on Friday, July 9th at the Sunset Ballroom in South Burlington.  It was a day of record heat, well in the 90’s, but everybody stayed "cool" as Kelly McGrath and Paul Benware exchanged vows in front of approximately 130 friends and family.


In dodging numerous rain storms and hectic work schedules working with Kelly and Paul to take their engagement pictures for their photo guest book, we felt like we really got to know this couple.  They have a wonderful sense of humor and we found them to be a complete joy to work with.  As a result their photo guest book was filled with pictures that show real personality!

  Thursday’s wedding rehearsal was just as relaxing and calm as the bride herself.   With record hot temperatures in the area, Kelly made a very wise decision to move the ceremony inside - a decision that was applauded by all her wedding party, guests and the photographers. 

Friday threatened rain, but seemed to just get hotter and hotter!.  Kelly and her bridesmaids were getting their hair and makeup done at Kelly’s parents' house.   Linda arrived around 4:00 to start taking pictures and found the bride with her veil on standing in front of a very large fan.  She was waiting till the last minute to put on her breath-takingly beautiful, but very hot, five-layer gown!  While the bridal party was drinking tons of water and taking turns standing in front of the fan, Linda had an opportunity to sit and talk with Kelly’s father.  It did not take long to discover that he and Linda had gone to the same high school and that he had graduated with Linda’s brother.  It was a special treat for Linda to sit and reminisce; it really is a small world!

While Linda was taking pictures of Kelly, Warren joined Paul and his groomsmen at Paul’s house.  Since it was no cooler there, they were waiting till the last minute to put on their heavy black tuxedo’s (complete with vests)!!!! 


Once the groom was ready and on his way to the Sunset Ballroom, Warren joined Linda as the limousine arrived at the McGrath house to pick up Kelly and her bridal party.  Discovering that the limo was air conditioned, they all decided to jump in and drive around for ½ hour just to cool off.  And then as they approached the Sunset Ballroom it began to sprinkle - not enough to cool things off much, just enough to get you wet if you stood in it any length of time. 

  As 6:00 pm approached, Paul was in place, and Kelly took the arm of her father and walked down the aisle to join her future husband.  The look on Paul’s face as Kelly approached was one full of joy.  After reciting their vows of love and exchanging rings, they were officially announced as husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Benware at last.

Next was the reception.  Formal introductions, loving toasts by the both best man and the matron of honor preceded a great dinner in spite of the heat!  Then it was Kelly and Paul's first dance as husband and wife, followed by Kelly's dance with her Dad, followed by a dance for all father's and their daughters.  Moonlight Entertainment soon had the place hopping, as Jim Provost put it.  And soon it was time to cut the cake, toss the bouquet and garter then dance, dance, and more dance.   From the “electric slide” to the “dollar dance”, everyone was having a great time.

As the sky darkened and the evening drew to a close, Kelly and Paul mingled with their guests.  There were hugs and tears of joy, and laughter that filled the room.  We even met up with Ellen and Justin, whose wedding we had photographed almost 18 months ago.


Our hope is that we captured Kelly and Paul’s wedding in pictures that they will treasure just as they do each other.  To see Paul & Kelly's full gallery, click here


Posted by Linda.

Posted by ayerphoto at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 16 July 2010 7:07 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Ayer Photography Wedding On Vermont Bride Cover
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: Love Stories

We were happy to learn today that our photographs of a wedding that took place last summer in Ludlow, Vermont, are being published on the cover of the Summer 2010 issue of Vermont Bride Magazine.  This issue is due out in about a week. 






















This featured wedding was of Elizabeth Tobin and Kevin Eddy last July at the beautiful Echo Lake Inn.  In addition to a sampling of photographs the magazine will also include their love story which you will not want to miss.  In the meantime you can peruse a sample gallery of their wedding in our sample section of our website.

Posted by Warren 


Posted by ayerphoto at 12:12 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 June 2010 12:28 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Colchester Bear Alert!
Mood:  surprised
Topic: In The Wild

As has become my summer routine, I walk our dog every morning and often when it is not raining, he wants to run into our backyard when we return to "check for squirrels" and other critters (which he thinks are his playmates).  This morning as he ran out into the fenced in area, I realized that there was something wrong with two of our bird feeders just outside the fence.

On closer examination I found one had been bent over flat at ground level - not an easy feat - I am not sure I could do it.  And the other was also bent partially over at ground level and then the feeder itself had been snapped off breaking the little plastic holder that screwed into the base and held it onto the pole - that I definitely do not think I could do without tools of some kind.

A similar incident happened last year.  It turned out to have been due to a small black bear that was foraging along the banks of the ravine behind our house.  At that time he not only destroyed our bird feeders, but he also attacked the feeders at two of our neighbors.  One of them even saw the bear, as it had ripped a gate off his back deck to get to a trash can he kept on his deck full of bird seed (to make it easier to fill his feeders).  And he apparently did a similar thing to the next neighbor, who had also stored bird seed in a container on the deck.

I called the police station to see if there had been any nearby sightings.  (Interestingly, the police station is almost exactly opposite us on the other side of the ravine and through the woods a little bit).  They told me that only a few days ago, a black bear had been spotted over on Bay Road which is not too far from us (actually we are connected by a bike path of all things).  So, it would appear we have a new hungry bear on the prowl at night.

Now, I am curious to see if I put out more seed and if I stay up, would I be able to capture a picture of our furry friend (Black Bear Fact Sheet) ?  Hmmm!

Submitted by Warren

Posted by ayerphoto at 11:45 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 June 2010 11:58 AM EDT
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Saturday, 12 June 2010
The Celmer-Bancroft Wedding
Mood:  happy
Topic: Weddings
The Ayer Photography wedding season 2010 kicked off this weekend; and what a wonderful wedding to begin the season with!  From the time we first met the wonderful young couple, Alison Celmer and Nate Bancroft, we felt the kind of connection that every photographer hopes to find with their wedding clients.
While Friday's wedding rehearsal was filled with sunshine and not a cloud it the sky, Saturday was another story.  We awoke in Colchester to a steady rain, with a prediction that it would continue throughout the day.  The Weather Channel had a similar prediction for Stowe, but a check of the radar map showed the actual storm holding about 15 miles south - leaving Stowe overcast, but dry!  Undecided Because of the threat of rain, a decision was made to move the reception inside, but we held out hope that Alison could still fulfill her dream of having the actual wedding ceremony outside. 
The venue for Allison and Nate's special day was the Stowe Mountain Lodge -- a beautiful facility at the base of Spruce Peak.  One of the great visual delights of this venue (and there are many), is their breathtaking golf course.  The staff at Stowe Mountain Lodge  chauffered us in golf carts, along with the bride and groom, up the hair-pin turns and around the golf course to some of the most breathtaking views.  We stopped along the way, taking pictures of Alison and Nate that I am sure they will treasure forever.   (We even caught a glimpse of a bear as we wound our way down the mountain.)  What a photographer's dream -- a beautiful bride, a handsome groom, and the beautiful mountains of Vermont as our backdrop.   A quick check of the doppler radar showed the rain inching north, but had still not reached Stowe, as the guests were beginning to gather.
With pre-ceremony pictures done, it was now time!  On the beautiful balcony of the Stowe Mountain Lodge, facing the majestic mountains and with the  love of family and friends surrounding them it was time for the ceremony to begin.  First Nate escorted his very proud mother to her seat, while the officiant (our friend, Greg Trulson of Moose Meadow Lodge) and groomsmen followed to take their places.  At last the bridesmaids filed out, followed by three of the most precious little angels -- two beautiful flower girls and one absolutely handsome ring bearer.  They walked hand in hand down the aisle as their proud parents beamed!  And now it was finally time for Alison.  On the arms of both her beaming Mom and Dad, Allison was the glowing bride.  Her dress (from Needleman's) was so elegant and had one of the longest trains I have seen.  After taking a few  pictures of her and her parents, I turned quickly to look at Nate.  The expression on his face was one of pure love.  As the rain continued to hold off, Alison and Nate, exchanged vows to honor, love and cherish one another.  Rings were exchanged and finally the introduction was made.  As the new Mr & Mrs. Bancroft kissedKiss and began their recession back down the aisle, the first of what would become a steady stream of rain drops began to fall.  But now it did not matter, Alison's dream had already come true. Smile She married the man of her dreams in an outdoor ceremeny surrounded by the beautiful mountains.
Now it was on to reception. There were three warm and loving toasts, wonderful food, and dancing, dancing, and more dancing to music by PeakDJ.  The bride danced in the arms of her pround Dad and the groom and his mom really kicked up a storm.  The three little angels that had walked down the aisle earlier had now met up with some of their young friends, intent on having a great time. 
As the evening wore down, Alison and Nate continued to mingle with the family and friends, that had come to celebrate their special day with them.  No one wanted the evening to end.
Our hope is that the pictures we took of Alison and Nate will help them remember their magical day and to always treasure the memories.
Additional photos can be seen in the Sample gallery section of our website at Nate & Allison - June - Sample wedding.   All of the pictures from this wedding will be posted (as processing is completed) in the Bride & Groom's password-protected gallery at Celmer-Bancroft Wedding.  
Submitted by Linda.

Posted by ayerphoto at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 June 2010 11:57 AM EDT
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Friday, 11 June 2010
Twins Lost - Fear Fell Victims To Predators
Mood:  sad
Topic: In The Wild

As we begin day 3 hope has faded for the fate of the lost birds and all searching has been suspended.  The normally quiet neighborhood of Williams Crossing was shocked Tuesday to learn that two of its newest, youngest, and most vulnerable residents had disappeared.  Their mother had returned home after going for food to find them missing without a trace.  She and the father mounted an ever widening search, but after several hours concluded they must have been taken by a predator.  Today, their home, only recently occupied and full of new life, sits empty and abandoned.

For us this story began on Sunday, May 23rd, when we pulled up the blind to one of the windows on the south side of our house to reveal a bird's nest just inches away, nestled in the branches of a lilac growing just outside.  At first we wondered had it been there before and we just never noticed?  But the next day, it was confirmed as a new and active nest when its new resident, a beautiful female Cardinal settled in.  At first she would only stay for a while and then flit off about her birdy business, whatever that was.  Within in a couple of days, however, we noticed she was spending more time at home and less foraging.

On one of her trips to the bird feeder around to the back of our house we took a peek inside the nest being careful to disturb nothing.  We were able to catch a glimpse of at least one egg.  We read that Cardinals will often have two to three at a time, but we could only see the edge of one egg from our vantage point inside the house.  We were excited and felt a little privileged to be able to get such a bird's eye view, since the nest was all but invisible from the outside, but only a few leaves blocking the view from inside through the window.

As the days wore on, momma Cardinal spent more and more time on the nest and less and less away.  Then came the terrible storm -- wind, rain, and even hail for a few minutes.  We watched her huddle over her eggs protecting them, keeping them warm and safe from the elements -- even as her lilac canopy was not offering her much protection from the hail.  You wanted to run out and put a roof over the lilac or maybe hold up an umbrella, but it probably would have only served to freak out the already frightened mother.

But she survived and seemed little worse for wear the next morning as the sun began to dry things out.  Now she was spending all her time on the nest and we never saw her leave.

On June 6th we got another hard rain - not as bad as the other night - and this was during the day.  The light allowed us to get a couple pictures of the mother determined to protect her babies, even though they were still just "eggs" to us.

On June 7th the sun came out, dried things up, and more importantly warmed things up.  We remember thinking, today would be a good day for a birth!  And sure enough, we we looked over at the nest about mid-day, the mother was gone - something she had not done in the last several days.  When we peeked down in, there were the newborn twins.  Pink, eyes still closed unable to see, and a faint dark fuzz around them in spots, that I presume was the beginnings of what would become their feathers.

Now we had to stay back as both mother and father were making regular food deliveries to what turned out to be two very hungry twin baby Cardinals.  It was amazing to be able to see this young family interacting with a view neither of us had ever had before - the way the mother kept them warm, encouraged them, and of course fed them - and fed them often.

My brother, Dean, had just chronicled the birth and first flight of a robin at his house in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and we were looking forward to attempting the same with our baby Cardinals. 

Tuesday morning (June 8) we saw the mother feeding her hungry young, but when she went foraging for a mid-day feeding, the twins disappeared.  It was sad to watch first the father return home with food and look all over for the hungry mouths, before beginning his confused search.  Then the mother returned with food and it was heartbreaking to watch her search in vain for her babies, whose eyes had never opened to see the light of day.

Witnesses describe a goose in the front yard, a number of gold finches by the back feeders, three big crows in the area, a gang of squirrels and a couple of chipmunks around the back deck, and a chickadee was seen having landed briefly on the lilac where the nest was hidden, but an inter-species language barrier prevented meaningful interviews.  Unfortunately, no one could identify the specific crows in a lineup, so there were no grounds to hold them.  And so, on day 3 we have no leads as to the twins whereabouts and hope of finding them has been extinguished.

Their home is now abandoned and back on the market.  In keeping with Vermont trends, it is very green, a very low carbon footprint, made of 96% natural materials and a few recycled man-made pieces, and features a lovely lilac aroma in the spring.  But like many homes where a tragedy has occurred, there has been little interest to date.

So, the abandoned Cardinal nest remains empty just outside our window, a silent memorial to two young birds who died too young.

Submitted by Warren

Posted by ayerphoto at 11:12 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 16 June 2010 4:09 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 9 June 2010
New New Ayer Photo Website Now Operational
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Ayer Photo Website

After three long months our ordeal with what was supposed to be a straightforward website migration / upgrade has finally been completed (or maybe I should say reversed) ... and none too soon, as we have only 2 days left till we launch our 2010 wedding season.  Check out our new Home Page below.















As you can see, we were able to retain some colors from what was supposed to be our new website for 2010, but needed to abandon the new editor and revert to our previous stable input method. 

We have also retained the upgrades we previously announced, namely a wedding archive and the ability for customer's to be able to specify how they want their images to be cropped. 

While our website is up, we do have a few more items to complete, most notably our album descriptions, which neede some content updates.  We hope to have these completed and added to the site in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, if you have a question about one or more of our albums listed on our Offering Page or in the Wedding Package Estimates, please give me a call or send me an email, and we will do our best to answer all your questions.

If you find a bad link in our new site, please let me know that as well. 

As you look through the new site, you will that we not only added this blog, but now also are beginning to build a presence on Facebook and communicate through Twitter

We thank you all for your patience as we have worked our way through this upgrade.

Submitted by Warren

Posted by ayerphoto at 5:36 PM EDT
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Thursday, 3 June 2010
Run! Run! Run! ... Vermont Style
Mood:  happy
Topic: Vermont Events

Memorial Day Weekend is often a big weekend in the Ayer house.  First we reflect back on Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, as a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.  No matter your political views on the current situations in the world, we should always take time to remember those that go to serve our country.  It is the protection their service provides that enables us to continue to enjoy the freedoms we have in this country.      

The second reason this Memorial Day Weekend was a big weekend was because it featured the running of the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon & Relay.  Friends and fellow photographers of ours from Boston ran in the race -- meaning we had a house full of visitors for the weekend and that, naturally, means fun! fun! fun!  Janice and Jeremy John ran in the race, while we were blessed to watch their two adorable children -- my two sweet loves.  They called Linda, "Auntie Linda," and Warren, "that guy," -- sooo cute!  Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Janice's parents (Grandma Alice  and Grandpa Brown), also drove up for the weekend, as well as Janice's sister, Laureen!  A true house full, but we had such a wonderful time!

Jeremy & Janice's 4 year old daughter participated in her first marathon --  1/2 mile -- finishing well up in the pack!  We are all so proud of her and she has a medal that is almost as big as she is.  Look out Key Bank Marathoners - we have a future star running up behind you.
Her younger brother spent most of his time playing with Jeremiah (our bichon frise) or cuddling with Grandma and Grandpa.  What a typical little boy.  I want to bottle up some of his energy. 
We all spent time walking the Market Place in downtown Burlington, eating outside at a little bistro and going to the park.  Never a dull moment when you have two little ones around. 
Monday, most of the family had to leave, but Brown stayed an extra day (a much needed day off from his very busy schedule as a Methodist Pastor).  Together we cooked the best curried chicken this side of India.  Brown is originally from India, so he brought his own custom blend of spices and special touch to make having curried chicken a little slice of heaven on earth.  Our kids even came over and we all ate till we could not move.  Of course, in true Indian fashion, Brown cooks for the masses, so we had a lot left over.  I was excited until our kids decided they wanted to take ALL curry leftovers home with them.  Kids!!!!
Tuesday, Brown left for New York leaving our house unusually quiet.  That of course was due in part to the fact our puppy, Jeremiah, just slept for hours.  His extended play time with little energetic kids all weekend seemed to have tuckered him out.
So as we settle back into our normal routines, we now look forward with great anticipation to the next time we are able to get together.  Maybe this summer we will have another opportunity to spend a few days with this great family.  If not, maybe they will return for another run -- next Memorial Day. 
Submitted by Linda

Posted by ayerphoto at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 11 June 2010 2:07 PM EDT
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Saturday, 8 May 2010
Ayer Photography Website Upgrade Progress
Topic: Ayer Photo Website

While we had every intention of posting regularly, you may have noticed a lack of activity - at least here on our blog.  If you had been perusing our website, you would have noticed lots of changes - some not always good. 

We have been in the process of converting to a new website platform.  This is a tedious migration requiring every link to be rebuilt as the migration process breaks all prior links.  While this is tedious, it is not hard.  The real trouble began as shortly after we pushed the button to migrate our second block of pages (our wedding section), our website host performed an unannounced "upgrade."  Unfortunately, this "upgrade" has been nothing short of a disaster - links miscoded, unstable text controls, saves that don't take at random intervals, add-on modules that have a mind of their own and simply do not function - and the more we tried to fix it the worse it got!

Some of this would not have been visible to you, our customers, because for much of it, our old version of this section of pages was still up and running -- until a couple of days ago.  For some inexplicable reason, our old version was taken down and our new version was not yet functional!!!  And so began an around the clock scramble to get some workable version online.

Today, for the first time in several days, we feel like we are finally coming out the other side.  Most of the new section of web pages are "working."  By that we mean that most of the really wierd formatting effects have been corrected and many, but I am sad to say, not all links are functional.  Ironically, it is the links to other pages within the same block of pages that are miscoded by the publishing system and have to be overwritten to make them look like external links - a process that is taking a lot longer than I would like.

So, we thank you all for your patience - for as we keep reminding ourselves, we are photographers, not web coders!

And in the process you will find a couple of new features.  While you will have to bear with us for a little longer on things like the numbers in an ordered list that look perfect in our editor, but have yet (after many attempted workarounds) to render properly, the basic functionality is there and actually works.

The first of these is an Archive page of links to recent weddings (samples, albums, proofs, etc.)  For weddings that were originally hosted on our new gallery platform the link set is pretty complete, for older weddings originally hosted on our old gallery platform, a sample and their album have been put up, while the other links are active, only if there has been a request.  So, if your wedding is missing (which it might be if it was on our older filing systems), or has some links that are not active, and you would like to be able to access it on our new Archive page, just send us an email.

The second new feature is our list of Vermont venues.  These are links to several Vermont wedding & reception venues - along with links to samples of weddings we have photographed there, where appropriate.

Lastly, we would ask that if you find any links that are persistently dead or go to the wrong place, please let us know.  With the erratic save malfunctions and other formatting issues, we tend to lose track of what we have fixed and not fixed - not to mention the times and some fixes have undone prior fixes in unpredictable ways.

But it remains our hope and prayer that our website will be completely stable once again before wedding season kicks into high gear in a few short weeks.

Posted by Warren

Posted by ayerphoto at 12:35 PM EDT
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Monday, 3 May 2010
Scrapbookers' Paradise
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Scrapbooking

If you have read my bio, you will have noticed that I love scrapbooking, and the only thing better than scrapbooking, is being able to scrapbook with others and exchange ideas.  For a significant part of scrapbooking is creativity - and new ideas, materials, techniques, tools are the fuel our creativity runs on.

So on April 30th with the car loaded with tool kits, snacks, carry-on bags, and more snacks, I started off down the road with three friends, Debbie, Laura, and Lorna, to CKC in Manchester, NH.  For those of you not familiar with CKC, it is the Creative Keepsakes Convention ... in other words, Scrapbookers' Paradise!!!

The convention is loaded with something for everyone - there are classes, demos, shopping, fellowship, and crops ... and did I mention, eating?  But, so little time ... alas, we could not do it all.  There were over 100 vendor booths, over 150 classes, and over 3,000 people ... all scrapbook lovers!  Over-achievers that we are, we set ourselves an ambitious schedule of nine classes and new product demos from Basic Grey, October Afternoon, Cricut, American Crafts, SCI, and several others.  And if anyone was still awake after a day filled with classes and shopping, there were innumerable evening crops.  Something for everyone.

Friday began with first things first -- coffee at 7:30am!  If I was going to run all day, I needed to at least start it awake.  We then stood in line at the convention center waiting for the doors to open with a few thousand others.

At 8:30am the doors opened and we were off to view the Vendor Displays.  There were over a hundred booths -- all with new products, materials, tools -- everything a scrapbooker ever dreamed of and more.  There was tons and tons of stuff and beautiful ideas -- the display of creativity was amazing - how would I ever remember it all for when I get back to making my own scrapbooks?

At 12:30pm we went to our first class - Everything About This Class Pops sponsored by SEI.  This class, as the name suggests, focused on incorporating all kinds of "pop-up" techniques into your card and scrapbook page designs.  And of course it was "learn by doing" so practicing these new techniques resulted in an accordian album and several "pop-up" cards.

At 1:50pm we ran to our next class, Life Is A Journey - Mini Album sponsored by Technique Tuesday, but arrived to standing room only - too late for a seat, so we just collected our kits of materials and instructions and took a much needed rest.

At 3:10pm we went to our next class - this time arriving in time to get seats - Beyond The Square by Simpli Craft.  This is the scrapbookers' version of thinking "out of the box."  It focused getting us to depart from simple square mats for pictures and use over-sized circles, scallopped edges, brackets ... and all kinds of irregular clever shapes and patterns!  Very Clever!

At 6:00pm we were off to a class called Button Farm - Recipe Album.  This class was so much fun!  And the take-away was everything you needed to put together a beautifully colored and functional recipe album - something you might give as a gift at a bridal shower (hey, I am a wedding photographer when I am not scrapbooking).  Of course if I cooked I could use it myself.

Saturday began at 7:30am -- again, with much needed coffee!

At 8:30am we had what turned out to be my very favorite class - Making Ordinary by SEI.  It involved utilizing ordinary envelopes in extraordinary ways along with a paper line I love (Moravia) to make an album. 

The end result of this project would be perfect for stunning vacation photos or spectacular family portraits to scrap!  And because it incorporates envelopes, it is simple to use it for other memoribilia.

At 9:50am we ran to our next class - literally - not much time to spare - entitled, All Tagged by Awesome Albums.  As the name suggests it was a class focusing on being creative with tags - and essentially create an entire mini-album with a tag theme to it.  It was a cute class!

Our next class started at 11:10am - Trendy Techniques - Piggy Tales.  The description, however, made it sound better and more interesting than it turned out to be, so we only stayed long enough to get the materials kit and directions and headed to lunch.

12:30pm brought another class by Awesome Albums.  This time, instead of a Tag theme, it was "ALL ABOUT HIM!"  It was about building a masculine album - a basic ring bound blackboard album with "manly" accents. 

At 1:50pm we ran to our last class for the conference - Top Techniques For 2010.  Unfortunately this was a very popular class and we arrived to find it standing room only.  Not wanting to miss the kit, however, we hurried and bought our tickets and claimed our materials kits.  Guess what it turned out to be for?  Yup, another recipe album, but very cute!

At long last we packed up our "scraps" and headed for home... tired and probably on creative overload.  But, I loved it and had a ball (or was it a tag?).  I was glad I was able to travel with friends -- the girls from Island Scrapbook in Williston, who had been to previous Creative Keepsakes Conventions -- a real help in finding the things you were really interested in among so many choices.

And if you missed this convention, but love scrapbooking, stop in to Island Scrapbook in Williston - I am sure Laura would be delighted to show you all the beautiful and exciting things we picked up during this trip.  Don't forget to tell her, "Linda sent me!"

Now that I have been to my first CKC, I cannot wait for 2011!

Posted by Linda.


Posted by ayerphoto at 6:18 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 May 2010 7:25 PM EDT
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