And Finally: Julie and Shawn at the Salem Waterfront Hotel

The Short Story:
Julie and I met when she took over my Tuesday noon Spinning class at the Watertown BSC. We got to talking one day after class and it turned out she needed a wedding photographer! Super! Her fiance Shawn is a boxer, fitness instructor and physical therapist and they met when she was a member and he was an instructor at the Downtown Crossing BSC a few years back–they got married in Salem and it was awesome.  If you want to know more…read on. If not, skip right on down to the pictures.

The Good Story:

Not gonna lie, when I saw that spritely little blond climbing onto the bike that fateful Tuesday, and not my regular instructor, I was pissed. I hate change, and I ESPECIALLY hate change when it comes to my workouts. Because I HATE working out, and it’s hard to get into a good routine, and if you’re anything like me, you get really reliant on certain instructors and when that changes you just want to throw in the Gatorade and go home.

But! After she commenced to administering a serious beat down that day in the Spin room, she won me over. Several weeks later she and I got to chatting after class about working out and fitness goals. I mentioned that I’m really trying to dig back into my exercise regime but I just hate working out. As we got to chatting she mentioned that she’s engaged. Oh really? I asked…photographer yet?


Interesting…Julie, I see this as the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

And so it was. After Julie and Shawn decided to hire me to photograph their wedding, I in turn hired Julie to be my personal trainer. I figured this would just kind of work out well for both of us–she gets a photographer, I get my ass in shape again. But what developed over the course of the last six months was something completely unexpected.

In Julie I wound up getting not just a kick ass trainer…but what would turn out to be one of my very best friends. Over the course of the last few months Julie has been a continual source of support and encouragement for me, both in and out of the gym. In the gym she’s been my own personal coach and motivator. She cares absolutely nothing about what the scale says, and cares only about getting me back in shape. Getting me strong again. Getting me fast again. Getting my wrists and forearms stronger so my hands don’t hurt while I’m working. Getting my legs strong again so I can run and jump faster while on the job. She told me she doesn’t care what size I wear, but she cares about getting the athlete buried inside me back out. Bringing swimmer Abby back to life.  And while I may not be as thin or in as amazing shape as I was when I was sixteen (seriously who is?) I feel better about myself than I have in years. She has me doing things I had no idea I could do, like carrying two 30 lb dumbells up and down four flights of stairs four times. Dead lifting two 50 lb dumb bells and then carrying them around the gym until my hands give out. Doing planks for minutes at a time. Lunges, squats–both of which I always thought I couldn’t do because of my knees. Pushups. Pullups. RUNNING. In six months I still have yet to step on a scale. And I do. not. care. I feel more fantastic than I have in as long as I can remember. And while I know it was ME who did the work, it was Julie who had her two fingers under my feet during all those horrible sets of pullups she made me do.

Julie has been an amazing force in my life over the last six months. She’s been an amazing coach and trainer, but also a fierce friend. Julie has listened and nodded along as I told her things I didn’t think I could tell anyone else. And as she nodded to everything I said, not a flicker of judgement or questioning flashed through her eyes. Even Julie’s maid of honor, Alyssa mentioned in her toast, how amazingly non-judgmental and open-minded Julie is. She’s been someone I can call on my worst days, and say “I’ve had a terrible day. Please kick my ass now.” and she says “let’s go.” Every time I post new work to my blog she gushes to me about how much she loves my work, and tells me she tells everyone around her how talented I am. She believes in me, not just as my client and as my coach, but as my friend.

I was so nervous going into Julie’s wedding not just because I wanted to do a good job like I do for all my clients, but because I really, really wanted to show Julie just how much I love and appreciate her. Julie has worked so hard on me over the course of the last six months, but I only had one day to repay her for all her hard work. Julie. I hope you love your pictures. Thank you for everything.

This is for you:


Hi, friend!


Robin! Another one of Julie’s fitness friends. Robin and are are workout buddies now, thanks to Julie!

And of course, where would I be without my best boy Eric? Here we are keeping the photo booth warm during dinner:

Shawn and Julie you were so amazing. Julie you put up with so much bossing around from Alyssa and me I’m amazed you didn’t smack either of us. Shawn, you were so great in front of the camera despite being camera shy–really you were amazing and such a good sport and the pictures of you turned out so great. Thank you both for being amazing clients, coaches and dear friends.

With  much love,

Abby (+Eric!)

On a nerdy note: This is the third wedding I’ve processed entirely with Visual Supply Co. Lightroom film presets. All color images are processed with Fuji 160 and all black and whites are Kodak Tri-X++.  The black and whites are WAY outside my comfort zone, for a number of reasons, which I plan to explain when I do a full write up in VSCO film coming up soon.

Leave a reply