Fair Trade In-Home Lifestyle Styled Shoot at the Hillcrest Cottage in Nahant, MA

In 2010, I attended A Sustainable Faith Conference in St Petersburg, Florida. The Missio Dei Community hosted a conversation for those who valued caring for the poor, human rights issues, and sustainable living. It was a small conference, lead by activist and speaker, Shane Claiborne.

Before this conference, I knew I cared about these issues, but on the second day, we visited Immokalee, Florida, and met with migrant farm workers. I sat in a small room and heard their heartbreaking stories and learned about their progress fighting for fair wages and working conditions. I put a face to what it means to advocate for those working in unsustainable environments making a wage that guaranteed poverty. The Coalition for Immokalee Workers were advocating for a penny per pound increase for tomato pickers--that's it. A penny increase would make a monumental difference for these workers. It sounds cliche to say my eyes were opened that day--but that is exactly what happened. 

When I returned, I began researching fair trade practices and started supporting and purchasing from organizations who believed in the rights and humanity of all people. I have only grown in my passionate support of responsible companies who empower workers and farmers. I believe how we choose to spend our money matters. 

I have had an idea in my mind for a long time--a photo shoot that features companies I believe in, who seek to do business in life-changing and life-giving ways. This summer, I finally made my vision of a fair trade styled shoot a reality.

5 fair trade businesses participated. 5 organizations who have a mission worth supporting. If you find yourself wanting to purchase ethically and responsibly, but don't know where to begin, I can't recommend these five organization enough. Start with them. 

1. Pact Apparel: If you know me, you have seen me in PACT.  I wear it almost daily and LOVE THEIR CLOTHES. Pact makes 100% organic cotton apparel and is ALWAYS sweatshop and child labor free.

2. Ten Thousand Villages: This non-profit organization markets handcrafted products made by more than 120 artisan groups in 35 countries. Every purchase is making an impact in the lives of people around the world.

3. Noonday Collection (Special thanks to Aaron Duffy):The story of how Noonday Collective began is inspiring. It is the story of one woman determined to make a difference in the lives of people in Uganda. Noonday offers fair trade jewelry and uses fashion to create meaningful opportunities around the world. 

4. Synergy Organic Clothing: Synergy Organic specializes in ethical, organic women's clothing. At its core, Synergy is committed to empowering men and women through ethical employment practices.

5.  New Creation: I wanted to include one smaller organization impacting a specific area of the country. New Creation is based in Virginia and is a marketplace where 100% of the profits counteract sex trafficking.

This experience was amazing and it will not be my last fair trade shoot. Thank you to the beautiful venue, Hillcrest Cottage By The Sea, my wonderful assistant Ali of Alexis J Photography and to the amazing models Jennifer and Andrew and Julianna and Tyler. You guys are awesome.


Interested in collaborating with me on a fair trade shoot or having your fair trade products featured? I would love to chat.

Styled Shoot at Mack's Apples in Londonderry

This week I had the privilege to be a part of a styled shoot with a dozen creatives and business owners. The photographers I shot alongside have become friends, and there is nothing better than creating with people you love to work with. I thrive in collaboration, so I feel blessed to have experiencing like this one.

Here are a few of my favorites from the shoot. Thank you to the talented vendors who made everything look absolutely gorgeous and the couples who were willing to do anything 6 photographers asked them to do. You made our jobs easy.

Planner: Eventfully Yours 
Hair and Make-Up: Premiere Makeup + Hair
Flowers: Sorella Flower Company 
Rentals: Inspiration Rental 
Linens: Special Events of New England, LLC
Invitations:  Inspiration I Do
Food: Custom Eats + Sweets
Venue: Mack’s Apples

The Playhouse Intimate Wedding Styled Shoot

In March, I was able to help collaborate on a LOFT and Tuesday's Together Creative Retreat with Hilary of Hilary Colleen Photography and Jenn of Jenn Bakos Photography.  Fourteen creatives spent three days at the stunning Playhouse in the Berkshires. It was a great way to meet other photographers, writers, and designers. We also had a lot of fun, laughs, and food--so much food.

I was able to lead a discussion on finding your ideal client and understanding your brand personality, Jenn taught a food photography workshop, and Hilary coordinated a beautiful styled wedding shoot! This was my first ever styled shoot and I loved it. It helped having amazing vendors and wonderful, genuine couples for our models. 

I can't wait for the next retreat!

Venue: The Playhouse
Floral Design: Ivy & Aster
Wedding Gown Designer: Edith Elan
Make-Up: Karrie Welch
Hair Stylist: Michelle Anne
Men's Suits: Zabians
Bridesmaid's dresses: Deidre's
Jewelry: Estylo
Stationary: Emma Bauso Design
Wine: Appolo Vineyard
Dessert: Chocolate Springs