Wild Orchard Studios: Blog https://www.wildorchardstudios.com/blog en-us (C) Wild Orchard Studios (Wild Orchard Studios) Fri, 19 Mar 2021 15:11:00 GMT Fri, 19 Mar 2021 15:11:00 GMT https://www.wildorchardstudios.com/img/s/v-12/u938607435-o183432790-50.jpg Wild Orchard Studios: Blog https://www.wildorchardstudios.com/blog 80 120 Apart; living alone during a pandemic https://www.wildorchardstudios.com/blog/2021/3/apart-living-alone-during-a-pandemic Just after Maine closed down due to our Stay-at-Home order in March, new-to-Maine resident Anne Rankin reached out to me. The Front Steps Project founders had just asked everyone to pause for safety, but Anne's email and perspective moved me. Most of my friends and family were isolated with at least one other person - but what has this experience been like for those who are truly apart?



Anne and I agreed to defer her session until the restrictions lifted, and I met and and her sweet 8 year old dog Ozzie the other day. She kindly allowed me to share some of her words here: 

holed up alone


hunkered down, everyone

their own private idaho,

the country finally begins

to mourn itself. each day

such a long task to finish.

longer still for you, holed up


for weeks, months, how long

since the world hit pause?

fighting to save that one

square of tissue that falls

on the bathroom floor and

nursing your fears of the

mail, you wash your hands

over and over, solo-singing

the happy birthday song,

wondering who’s celebrating.


sometimes you need someone

else’s eyes to open your own.

all you want is to be zoomed

by someone, somewhere. but

life online feels like wearing

a wet suit when what you want

is skinny dipping. one day

as you carry out the trash,

your neighbor tosses her

greeting from another world

across the street, and the lilting

sound of your name in the

wind and the sight of her

screenless face turning

to meet your eyes feels

so personal it comes close,

moves you to tears.


*copyright 2020 Anne Rankin*



(Wild Orchard Studios) front steps project living alone during COVID-19 living apart during a pandemic Maine Women solitude women writers women's history month https://www.wildorchardstudios.com/blog/2021/3/apart-living-alone-during-a-pandemic Fri, 19 Mar 2021 13:15:00 GMT
MWM-Carolyn Brady https://www.wildorchardstudios.com/blog/2020/7/mwm-carolyn-brady 8K3A7548Carolyn Brady, Miss Maine 2019

Carolyn Brady, Miss Maine 2019- our state's first-ever African American Miss Maine- has to be one of the most motivated and active people of my acquaintance! Between her Miss Maine duties, working as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Howard C. Reiche Elementary School in Portland, teaching spin classes at Cyclebar in Portland, and practicing her violin...well, I don't know where she gets the energy! 


When Carolyn came to Maine from Philadelphia to attend Bowdoin College, she came with a lot of academic ambition and a gift for the violin, which she’d been playing since she was 5. But a suggestion from a former Miss Maine contestant who saw her playing with Bowdoin’s symphony set her on a path to pageantry and led to her becoming Miss Maine. December 2019 saw her heading to Connecticut to represent the state in the Miss America 2.0 pageant at the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville (it aired on NBC).


Her long term goals are a career with the U.S. State Department, and her hope would be an assignment in China, where she spent the summer after her freshman year. “I just ended up falling in love with Chinese culture,” she says. (And also with the language, which she minored in at Bowdoin along with majoring in government and legal studies.)


2019 was a busy year for Carolyn. She graduated from Bowdoin in the spring and started teaching math and literacy at Reiche Elementary school in Portland that fall. Always one to stay busy, Carolyn often works retail jobs, participates in philanthropy work as Miss Maine- including with Catholic Charities Maine and Gateway Community Services-  and also teaches spin classes at CycleBar in Portland, where I caught up with her. Multitask much? “I am like the poster child for young America,” she says.


Carolyn_bwcycleCarolyn_bwcycle 8K3A74828K3A7482 8K3A7497Miss Maine 2019 - Carolyn BradyCarolyn with her Miss Maine Tiara and Sash Carolyn Brady in athleisureCarolyn ready to teach a spin class 8K3A74908K3A7490  


(Wild Orchard Studios) black lives matter Bowdoin Alumni female empowerment inspiring women Maine Women Miss America Maine Miss Maine 2019 Miss Maine 2020 https://www.wildorchardstudios.com/blog/2020/7/mwm-carolyn-brady Fri, 24 Jul 2020 22:41:32 GMT
MWM-Priscilla Kjellman https://www.wildorchardstudios.com/blog/2020/1/mwm-priscilla-kjellman Priscilla-1Priscilla Kjellman at home

If you happened to ask me who was the most effortlessly stylish person I know, Priscilla Kjellman would be my answer. In the 10+ years we spent working together at J Crew, I can't recall a time when she didn't look pulled together. Sometimes that meant sophisticated, sometimes casual, sometimes fun - whatever she wears, it looks just right for her at that time. 


Priscilla attributes the development of her personal style to her mother, "an amazing seamstress, for fun, not as a vocation," and recalls their time spent looking over patterns and fabric choosing something that always felt unique. The sense of individuality that came from wearing something she helped design has pushed her to look at her wardrobe as a canvas she can mold to fit her needs. You can read the full interview with Priscilla in the November 2019 Maine Style


These days, she's pushed styling others and time at J Crew to the back burner, while she focuses on health coaching. Experience with gluten intolerances and other health issues within her family began her on this journey several years ago, and now she's taking what she's learned to the next level. A Certified Health Coach with a friendly ear, follow her journey and encouraging tips on instagram @kjellhealth207

Priscilla-2Priscilla-2 Priscilla-6Priscilla-6


(Wild Orchard Studios) health coach holiday style inspiring women Maine Style Maine Women Personal brand photographer https://www.wildorchardstudios.com/blog/2020/1/mwm-priscilla-kjellman Sun, 12 Jan 2020 05:12:54 GMT
MWM-Merritt Carey https://www.wildorchardstudios.com/blog/2019/10/mwm-merritt-carey Merritt-7Merritt Carey_Tenants Harbor Fisherman’s Co-opMerritt with some of the scallops from the farm she co-owns.

Merritt Carey's female Maine icon is Margaret Chase Smith, chosen for her perseverance. I think the same could be said of Merritt herself;  as a sailor on the second all-women team to compete in the Whitbread Around the World Ocean Race, who also holds a law degree, advocates for aquaculture programs in Tenants Harbor, and is a mom of three, among other accomplishments... Well, let's say that perseverance has served her well thus far! I thoroughly enjoyed my opportunity to spend part of an evening with Merritt and am so thankful of her willingness to make time for our shoot. It certainly isn't every portrait session that I take a boat to a float containing a scallop farm, but I would do it again in a heartbeat! Her full interview for MaineStyle can be read here
Merritt-3Maine Scallop Farming

Merritt-1Maine Farm-raised Scallops Merritt-9Merritt Carey_Tenant's Harbor Merritt-6Merritt Carey_Tenant's Harbor Merritt-6Merritt Carey_Tenant's Harbor Merritt-6Merritt Carey_Luke's Lobster Shack

(Wild Orchard Studios) inspiring women Maine photographer Maine Style Maine Women personal brand photographer scallop farm strong women https://www.wildorchardstudios.com/blog/2019/10/mwm-merritt-carey Tue, 08 Oct 2019 13:00:00 GMT