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I am a mom to a nine year old little girl named Lily, a lawyer who only ever listens to NPR, podcasts, or audio-books, and a rule-breaking creative who just isn't here for the norm. One of the fundamental components of me and my portraiture is that I love people - how they act, how they feel, how they move about through time and space - and I love, love, LOVE the relationships people have with each other, with themselves, and with the planet. 

I am bold and unafraid to speak up, I dedicate a lot of my life to working to improve the world for marginalized communities, I strive to constantly improve my understanding, and I like to push the boundaries of what the every day can be. I am a gypsy soul, a maker, a provoker, and a deep thought thinker. I question norms, challenge beliefs, and remove expectations. There is no perfection, there is only ever trying to be better.

Read on to learn about why I do what I do. . .

Headshots on Beach Aug 2019-31.jpg

My Family

I've already mentioned Lily and I'm sure many of you know her from the photographs all over the site. She's sassy and smart, kind and so empathetic. She is really into dance and all the sports that I coach for her (fun!). She wants to be a professional dancer and own her own business someday where she can create a work-life balance like mine. I can DEFINITELY support those dreams. 

Pete is my partner, sometimes I crack jokes about him to get clients to loosen up - it always works. He's the most wonderful human, though, and I love all of the things, even his awful taste in jeans and graphic T-shirts. We have two doggies, Fia and Clover. Fia, pictured here, doesn't like to be held or sniffed. Clover is a new puppy and she likes to howl, which we discovered one evening when I was imitating an Aidy Bryant character from SNL. I must have hit just the right tone and she went nuts! Now it's a thing. 


My family is super important to me, and that includes my Grandma and the rest of my family, but especially my sister Lindsey (we are basically twins)! She lives with us for parts of the year, and we visit her in our Ohio home the other parts, so maybe you'll meet her!

Family photography in Portland Maine by Elusive Photography

More 'bout Emily

I began photography way back in rural, Southern Ohio, when I was a teenager obsessed with fashion photography. I didn't go to school for it, though I've been in college for just about everything else. I prefer to learn on my own and I've perfected the art of self-teaching on a super fast-paced track. 

I focus my portraiture on the creation of heirlooms. This includes primarily new family portraits like Maternity, Newborn and Baby photography, but also Family portraits and Pet portraiture. Most of the time, you can find me working with babies and pets, who are strikingly similar in the personality traits that they require - patience, calmness, and intuition. If you bring me your baby, I'll quickly snap into grandma mode and I'll lull them to sleep real quick. If you bring me a pet, I'll shower them with love and will definitely give them the zoomies (I can't help myself).

In case you were wondering, yes, that's a gnarly scar above my eye. I was hit by an impatient left-turner while riding my motorcycle. I was wearing a full face helmet, but a kind of freak thing happened and I got stabbed in the face with the mirror - yikes. I don't remember anything except waking up and wondering why my hands had turned into potatoes. Spoiler, they were both broken in multiple places and the doctors didn't notice for a full day until I woke up. I was mostly insulted that they thought my hands just normally looked like that!

Portrait photography in Portland Maine by Elusive Photography

Why the weird story?

My motivation to be in business isn't for subjective benefits like the ability to travel, be my own boss, and do things that I love and that inspire me. Rather, it is that I get to shape the values of my business and how it impacts my community and the industry in which it is situated. I have always felt the need to make a big impact in the world, whether through law, advocacy or activism, and I didn't always know how photography fit into that. I've realized, though, that many big changes start in the community, and small businesses can help spur consumers into action through those relationships. Lots of businesses say nice things, but I like to do nice things as well. 

For instance, I'm one of the few photographers with a progressive, OPT-IN privacy section in my contract. Don't want to share your images with the world? No problem! I'm not going to charge a "privacy fee," why does anyone even think that's ok?!

Oh top of that, did you know that I only practice as a volunteer with domestic violence agencies? To be frank, photography allows me to do that. So, to all of my clients, thank you for helping me help others. 

To have positive impacts on my community, I implement many sustainable, green, and socially accountable efforts through the client interactions I have, the gifts I give, the way I conduct business, the products I offer, the events I hold and the community partnerships I chose to participate in. Most of these things were implemented through my Wedding Photography work, which I am ending in 2023. However, you can still check out the Plastic Free Wedding Guide and have yourself a sustainable and waste-free wedding! 

Basically, I have a weird story just because I'm lucky, I suppose, and I want to use the luck I've happened upon back into the world to help others. Check out the The Plastic Free Wedding Guide, and learn about privacy. Contact me if you have ideas!

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