January 2, 2012

...Top Ten of 2011 Winners...

The Best of 2011 Contest was a huge success. 
I couldn't have picked more perfect winners if I had chosen them myself. All of the photos chosen show what I hope are consistant parts of my style and vision as a photographer. Thanks to everyone who voted for the photos and congrats to the Top 10 winners.

 ...Best of 2011 #10 - Sweet little Torie...
Newborns are so hard to photograph.  I'll be honest, I don't really enjoy the photographing part of having newborns stop by. I'd rather the baby just come to my house for me to snuggle. Miss Torie's surprise smile made me forget all about the usual struggles of shooting teeny tinys. 

...Best of 2011 #9 - Dea & her Mommy...
Part of what I LOVE about doing this job is the relationships I form with clients. This photo is a great example of what happens when you take extra time to let the kids warm up and get comfortable with you. I remember this moment perfectly. Miss Dea was telling her mom that she got me to eat the "yucky Laffy Taffy." Pretending to take a bite of gross, sticky candy allowed for some great smiles later in the photo shoot, when I mentioned it. 

...Best of 2011 #8 - Jeff & Lindsey's Family...
For so many reasons I loved this shoot. It was a beautiful evening so the light was perfect. Lindsey picked out adorable outfits that coordinated just enough, but not too much. We shot in a lovely spot with lots of texture. Long grass, old bricks and yes, even a few ticks! Also this is a great example of a pose that is not super posy. Composition is not my strong suit -  I'd rather just guide the family a little as we go. I let the family interact naturally for the most part, and give a bit of direction here and there to achieve the look I want.

...Best of 2011 #7 - Brad & Sarah's Family...
Another super fun family to work with. This was one of those "freeze" moments. The shoot was full of laughing and goofing around, but this quick shot makes it seem like they were flawless little figurines the whole time. Kids aren't wax statues that pose and smile when directly. Some photos like this are great, but in my opinion the best shoots end with a mix of perfectly posed & what of the family is actually like!

...Best of 2011 #6 - Nolan...
 Must haves for an excellent 3 year portrait of a happy little boy. Great grin. Beautiful light. Bucket hat.  With a typical kid avoiding eye contact with the camera. No props or distracting backdrops, just Nolan.

...Best of 2011 #5 - Carver & Atley...
Almost all of these top 10 photos have one thing in common...amazing light!  Word to the wise...schedule your shoot in the evening. The golden light about an hour before dusk will make for the best photos. This photo is a great example.

...Best of 2011 #4 - Hattie...
I love this photo of hambone Hattie. Full of smiles, giggles and silliness. I easily could have deleted this photo because it's not super sharp. My focal point is on her hand not on her eyes like usual. So although I see blurry eyes, I saved this photo because it captured a moment. A moment worth keeping forever!

...Best of 2011 #3 - Carlos, Joe & Luca...
This is my absolute favorite photo from 2011. To me, it's visual poetry. Every time I see it, it touches me on a different level. The one consistent thing I see every time I look at it is LOVE! 

"At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet."

...Best of 2011 #2 - Lara & Kris...
 Nowadays wedding photos are as unique as the couple getting married. Which makes wedding photography all about the relationship between the photographer and the bride & groom...or bride & bride in this case. I love the simplicity of this photo, and I knew this would exactly what Kris & Lara would love too.

...Best of 2011 #1- Justin, Jessie, Atley & Carver...
I'm so glad this was chosen as the Best of 2011 for couple of reasons. First of all, this is what a photo shoot with young children is all about... flexibility & fun. Shoots with kids never, seriously NEVER, go as planned so the best way to make it enjoyable is to just roll with it. I promise I will get shots you love, if you promise to trust me & my process. It may seem chaotic or messy, but there really is a method to my madness.
The second reason I love this photo is because it was taken right before one of these little boys got very sick. This family had quite an ordeal right before Christmas. Since then Jessie told me while Atley was struggling, she would look at this photo and pray to have that healthy, little boy back. This photo gave Jessie hope when she was scared for her son. I'm so happy for these guys that Atley is doing better & I consider myself lucky to have been able to give Jessie & her sweet family the gift of this moment. 

Happy New Year.  I hope to see you in front of my camera in 2012!

December 7, 2011

Kris & Lara | 11.25.11 | New York Wedding Photographer

...The Wedding of the Century...

Before I start, I need to clarify to my past brides that I did not coin this event 'The Wedding of the Century'...the bride did! Yes, I play along, but I would never classify one person's wedding as better or more important than anyone else's. ;)

 Although, Kris thought this was going to be The Wedding of the Century, her wedding day started off just like any other. The normal pre-wedding preparations were in full swing when I arrived at the Barn on The Pond. Yep just like every wedding...the dude in flannel pajama pants and black leather loafers hauling trash cans past the Streamline, and the Broadway performer limbering up in the kitchen as he scrambles eggs.

All joking aside, the weddings I've had the opportunity to shoot have evoked very familiar feelings.  No matter how different the couples, the guests, the decor - the sentimental vibe is usually pretty similar. Most people are full of excitement, optimism and joy. 

Besides the aforementioned shenanigans, Kris and Lara's wedding started off almost identical to every other wedding...

There was a beautiful dress.

There were pretty shoes and sparkly rings.

There were curling irons, bobby pins and hair spray.

There were flowers, a guestbook (of sorts) and people gawking at a tree trimmer.

Kris and Lara's wedding had candles, cocktails, and bottle caps.

 There were last minute hugs, dog supervised rehearsals and big baby yawns.

 As it neared showtime, there was nervous laughing, button sewing and necklace clasping.

There were photos of the gorgeous couple, their fabulous families, and the Barn before guests arrive.

{Photographer's Favorite #1}
I cannot put my finger on what it is about this one, but I love it!  I am not sure if it's the focus on the  rafters or the interesting outdoor lights or if it's the happy, natural and slightly blurred faces of the brides.

 Then it was time. 
Time for the state of New York to allow these two lovely women the right to marry one another.
Right about 4pm, this wedding started to feel different.  Kris and Lara's ceremony was by far the most heartfelt and touching I've ever experienced. 

{Photographer's Favorite #2}
I snapped this one as they walked quickly down the aisle. I know it's blurry, but it's still a favorite. I love how Kris and Lara are both beaming as the wedding is about to start. I don't see nerves or anxiety...just love! (...and a slow shutter speed)

The wedding was intimate - only 40 guest. Everyone was either family or close friends of the couple. 

Every word uttered came directly from someone's heart. Every song sounded like it was written for that particular moment. 

And then came the vows. They were so beautiful. So sincere. So perfect.
Literally everyone in the Barn was crying - including me...

and the caterers! 

It was awesome to hear Carlos, speaking on behalf of the State of New York, introduce Kris and Lara as a married couple.


After the kiss, the party began! There were drinks, food and music.

Lots of singing, dancing, and even some cartwheels.

Gifts were given, notes were written and stories were shared.

 The Black Eyed Peas, a polka and The Humpty Dance kept guests on the dance floor.

Did I mention singing? Yeah, there was a whole lot of singing. 

There was hand holding, group hugging and head resting.

{Photographer's Favorite #3}
I love this candid family photo of Carlos, Joe and sweet baby Luca.

{Photographer's Favorite #4}
I love this photo of Kris and Lara so much. I hope it reminds the brides that even though the wedding is over, the guests have left, and the music has stopped - love remains. Strong and steady love remains.

Thank you, Kris and Lara for allowing me to be part of your beautiful barn wedding. I wish you happiness wherever you go...and my hope is that one day people will be able to marry whomever they love right in their own backyard....without needing to transport 100 Ball jars to New York.