Monday, January 3, 2011

The Happiest Place On Earth

Hello, hello!

Just wanted to put a quick entry up to let you all know that I will be on vacation for the next twelve days. I'll be at Walt Disney World with Justin and his family where I will be frolicking around the Magic Kingdom with Mickey and the gang, traveling to 11 different countries in EPCOT, taking a trip through the Twilight Zone at Hollywood Studios, and going on a Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom. I know, you're just a little bit jealous... right?

To be sure I can take in all the Disney magic I can, I will not be checking my email, taking business calls, tweeting, or updating my status on facebook... Okay, maybe I'll send a tweet or two, but only cute photos of me and Justin around Disney. ;) Feel free to send me any emails during this time, but know that I will not respond before January 15th.

Hope you all have a wonderful next few weeks! And be sure to expect a BIG blog of my favorite shots from Disney when we return!

And as they say in Disney... Have a magical day!

Mickey & Minnie
© Kristin Brandt

Mickey and Minnie Mouse
© Kristin Brandt
(How freaking cute is this?!)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Believe : 2011

The new year has officially begun. I will be the first one to say I am so thankful for a new year, for a fresh start, for a time to rethink this past year and take a first step into this year. This day starts a whole new decade, and this new decade is going to be absolutely amazing.

My motto for this year is simple. It's a single word, but it's a word that keeps coming into my life a whole lot recently. Believe. I have so much to believe in this year. I have my family and friends who are always there for me, my unbelieving loving boyfriend who I believe in (and who will be graduating from college in May!), a career in a field I absolutely adore, a God who I know will always be there to guide me, a foundation that gets me through every day... But most importantly, I have to believe in myself. My biggest flaw is that I don't always believe in myself, and it's something that everyone struggles with at one point or another. I have to believe in myself that I am worth it, that I am loved, that I am good at what I do, and that I really can do anything if I want to.

And with that one word, BELIEVE, I have a very exciting announcement.

As of this moment, I have committed myself into going 100% full time as a photographer. Happenstance Portraits is now my full time "job" (if you can even call doing what you love a job), my passion, my life, my world. I believe it's a step that I have to take, a step that I am ready to take, and a step that will change my life forever. I am so excited about it, and to be honest a little nervous, but I know as long as I BELIEVE, I can do anything.

Believe 2011. This is my theme for this year. With that theme, I have created a Vision Board for 2011.


Allow me to explain each piece of my vision for 2011...

1. This photograph of Justin and myself from this past August, and this is how I want to feel every day. That love, that happiness, that joy, that comfort, that safety, the butterflies in my stomach... I want to feel like that every day, no matter what. No feelings of fear, insecurity, nervousness, stress. I want to feel how I felt while Melissa took that photograph every single day- not only for 2011, but every day of my life.

2. I want to travel. I already have plans to go to some destinations, but I want to travel with every opportunity I get. I want to have new experiences, to learn new things, to photograph unfamiliar places. Just to get out there and see what else is in this world I live in… and maybe go to Disney World a couple more times. :)

3. This past fall I started taking yoga classes and I fell in love. Yoga makes me feel relaxed, at peace, closer to God, in harmony with the world... Every stereotypical thing you've heard about yoga, that's how it makes me feel. I want to take weekly yoga classes and take an hour or two each week to just be at peace with myself.

4. I love to read and unfortunately I don't get to read as often as I use to. I use to spend hours and hours and day after day reading, but in the past few years I've become so caught up with life I haven't had time to just sit down and read. So whether it's on of my favorite books, my Bible, a New York Times Best Seller, a silly young adult book, or the newest book my mom's book club is reading (and those girls know how to pick a good book!), I just want to take the time to read more.

5. A business goal of mine, I want to be featured on Style Me Pretty. Just throwing that out there. Which means photographing more weddings, which you all know I love to do.

6. This is something I've been saying ever since I got my driver's license but have failed to do so every year since then; I want to go to the beach once a week this summer. Whether it's a few hours in the morning or taking a whole day off the day after a wedding, I am going to take time to go to the beach once a week this summer and just enjoy the gorgeous shoreline of Connecticut.

7. I want to see more sunrises. I am terrible at waking up early in the morning. I believe seeing more sunrises will inspire me to enjoy the beauty of a full day, instead of the stress when I realize the sun is already set before I've gotten nothing done.

8. As material items go, I want more lenses. It's something every photographer longs for. More lenses to grow with, to create more beautiful photographs, and to just have fun with. The Canon 24-70 is next on my list... :)

9. For the past three or four years, ever since my friend Anna came back from a mission trip, I have been dying to go to Haiti. My heart has just been longing to go and I feel like there's something calling me there, especially after the earthquake last year. Thankfully I have the opportunity to go in October with a group called The Lazarus Project and I cannot be more excited!

10. And last but not least, my number ten. I am longing for my own office space. A place to meet with clients, to have all of my work on display, to edit in a quiet area, to blog and dance around to ridiculous music. Just a space to call my own and to head the "headquarter" of Happenstance Portraits... And I have to admit, I'd love to foursquare that I am checking-in at Happenstance Portraits. ;)

And that is it... for now! I may add more vision boards as the year progresses, but for now I will take it one step at a time.

Thank you to everyone for supporting me over this past year. With this new year, I ask that you, my family, friends, and supporters, to really PUSH me this year, to be the best that I can be, to get me to achieve my goals, and if I'm feeling down to just remind me to BELIEVE.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope all your goals and dream come true this year. <3

A New Year's Eve Bride

It's New Year's Eve.... Let me say that again- IT'S NEW YEAR'S EVE! How the heck is it New Year's Eve already?! I could have sworn it was January 1st just the other day!

In honor of New Year's Eve, I've put together a sort of inspiration board. Every year there are thousands of New Year' Eve weddings and engagements. The idea of a New Year's Eve wedding excites me, because I believe to be a New Year's Eve bride you aren't your average, girl next-door type of bride. When I think of a New Year's Eve bride a spunky girl comes to mind, a girl who pushes the boundaries, who's non-traditional, who isn't afraid to turn heads.

So, in honor of the New Year's Eve bride I've imagined in my head.... Let me introduce you to her. I've decided to name her Evie (original, right?), and this is what I think she would wear to her surprise New Year's Eve wedding.

Here's the scene: Evie and her fiancé have invited all of their friends and family to what they think in a New Year's Eve engagement party, to celebrate the New Year and to celebrate their engagement. Little do they know that this is actually their wedding.


Evie isn't your traditional white dress girl- cause these days, you don't have to wear a white dress on your wedding day. So Evie takes the modern idea and puts a New Year's party twist to it, and she gets this:

A gorgeous Ambre Babzone V Neck dress, which not only shows off her personality but makes the Times Square ball jealous. If she wanted to a dress that people will always remember, she has that checked off her list.


Evie doesn't want to go overboard with jewelry, because she's glittering enough already. So she adds these perfect posts from Antropologie to complete her look.


Next are the shoes; a girl's best friend and worst enemy. Evie isn't about to give up and wear simple flats for the night. She picks out an amazing pair of Jimmy Choo's to add the finishing touch of sparkle.


When it comes time for her makeup, she turns to Kim Kardashian for inspiration. She knows Kim is the queen of the smoky eye look, so she takes the look, adds a little bit of silver, and she gets this as a result: perfections.


For her hair, Evie looks to the celebrity who always has the perfect hair for any occasion: Lauren Conrad. She take's Lauren's wavy hair red carpet look to add a little simplicity to her outfit, because anything over the top would just be too much.


And last, but certainly not least... the ring. Evie's fiancé knows Evie is not a typical bride, which is why he picked out this Platinum Sapphire Round Bezel Halo Diamond Ring with Side Stones. Needless to say he did an amazing job.

And that's it! :) Imagine showing up to a wedding and seeing your friend come in dressing like this?! She would make jaws drop instantly!

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's Eve! Please be safe and do not drink and drive, and don't ride with anybody who does. **Tipsy Tow offered by AAA: You Don't have to be a AAA member, from 6pm-6am on new years eve/day they will take your drunk self and your car home for FREE. Save this number... 1-800-222-4357.**

Thank you everyone for making 2010 so great... Here's to 2011 and the many wonderful Happenstances to come!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lucy's Sweet 16

Lucy's Sweet 16 was such a great day! I'm so glad my Aunt Alison asked me to take photographs of the day.


I met them at their house so I could take some photos of Lucy getting ready... But she insisted it was a very "creeper" thing for me to do and wouldn't let me take photos. I assured her that it is indeed NOT creeper and lots of brides love these shots. She proceeded to tell me she was not a bride and just a sixteen year old. Realizing I had been defeated, I took photos of her pets instead. Meet Jack and Mugsy.


Lucy had her party at Bridge in Westerly, Rhode Island. Let me tell you, this was one AMAZING location! Not to mention, the food was just as amazing!






Helloooo beautiful.


This gorgeous blonde is Lucy's sister Clare. She helped us set up and decorate for the day.


A proud Momma and her little girl. :)


This was a first for me: Organic Soda. Sound weird? Yes. But delicious? OH YES!






Once the food was out, the friends started to arrive! These girls were so much fun!





Then it was time to eat the amazing, wonderful, perfect food.





And what comes after food? Presents, of course!




One of Lucy's friend Sarah draws her a birthday card every year, and this year's was absolutely amazing!



And then it was time for cake...!





Lucy I hope you had an amazing birthday! I love you! <3

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sneak Peek : Lucy's Sweet 16

I honestly can't believe I'm writing this post right now. My little Lucy, 16 years old?! AND she has her driving permit?! HOW CAN THAT BE?! I remember her as a baby (I remember not really know who or what she was when she was first born, but that's beside the point). Either way, she is 16 now and it makes me feel OLD!

So here's a sneak peek of tomorrow's post! I can't wait to share the rest!





Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NEW! College Headshot Sessions

As you may have noticed, theatre is a huge part of my life. I was involved with my high school's theatre club, WATERFORDrama, all four years of high school and I am still involved in the program. I also have many, many friends who are pursuing a career in the theare world, whether it's acting, directing, or education, and I have photographed their headshots for them.

During Ashleigh's latest session, we got to talking about college theatre students and how they are always in need of new headshots. Unfortunately, a typical college student can't pay $500 for headshots, especially when they will need new ones in about a year. I went home from our session with all sorts of ideas floating through my head. After a lot of brainstorming and research, I came up with a great solution for this predicament...

I am so excited to introduce College Headshot Sessions... with a spring semester special!


Here's the dealio:

Each session includes a two hour shoot with yours truly. You pick the location, three outfits, and bring your best smile. After your session, you will sit down with me and pick out your three favorite shots from your session. I will do any little touch ups you want, make sure the photos look exactly how you want them to look, and then you will receive three high resolution images on a disc for you to keep- that same day! With the disc you also receive a release to print the photographs on your own so you can make prints when you need them and email them as needed, too.

Not comfortable doing a shoot by yourself? Round up all of your actors friends, dancer friends, musician friends, anyone who may need a headshot (remember, not only actors need headshots!) and book a group session. The more friends you bring, the more comfortable you will feel in front of the camera!

The only requirements for a session is that you are a current college student in either an undergraduate or a graduate program and are able to present a valid school ID the day of your session. Being a theatre major or minor is NOT a requirement. Even if you just want headshots for yourself for fun, this session is for you!

And the cost? You get all of this, the session, the images, the release, and the disc, for only $85.00! This price will ONLY be available for this coming spring semester (January 1st 2011 through June 1st 2011), so be sure to book your session TODAY!

So... What are you waiting for?! Spread the word to all your friends and book your sesison TODAY!

For more information, feel free to contact me at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Headshots : Ashleigh

Happy December! Can you believe it is December already?! I could have SWORN it was just December not too long ago...

You may recognize Ashleigh. I have taken numerous headshots of her (which I love doing!). Ashleigh recently transferred to NYU Tisch School of the Arts and is continuing to pursue her dreams of becoming a Broadway star. Of all people, I just KNOW this girl is going to make it!

Ashleigh and I got together while she was home for Thanksgiving and did another session. Even though it was freezing, we had a great time and the results are absolutely amazing! I swear, her headshots get more and more gorgeous with each session. :)

This was an "oops" shot, but I love it!


This alley we were photographing in was PERFECT; great back lighting, a single reflector, a gorgeous girl, and BOOM! A perfect picture.


I jokingly told her to give me her best "Top Model" looking, and this was the result... Let's just say that Tyra should watch out because this girl is FIERCE!



We had so much fun taking photos, but we also had WAY too much fun editing them. Ashleigh gave me the OK to do whatever I wanted to them, so here are some of the images I edited. I rarely play around with portraits like this, so I had a blast!


Honestly, can't you see this girl's face in Times Square some day?! I totally can.



So Ashleigh is possibly going to kill me for posting this, but it's worth it. While I was editing the session with her, we some how got on the topic of Twilight and how one of the photographs could totally be a Twilight poster. Well, twenty minutes later this is what we created... WE. WERE. DYING.
(Sorry Ash... love you! At least I didn't make you sparkle! ;) )


Hope everyone has a wonderful first week of December!

Don't forget to leave Ashleigh some L-O-V-E! :)