Thursday, September 29, 2011

'See' - Thursday's Thought of the Day

"I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs
because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it."

-Author Unknown

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eliza + Michael - Old Brookville, Long Island - Private Estate Wedding

The Beginning

It was hard not to think of Eliza and her sister playing as kids in their backyard.
It was a place that was just sorta magical.
From the moment you walked into their house you were greeted by the amazing view from
the over sized window facing the backyard. Blue azure skies and boats littered the equally blue water.
When I gasped at the sight, Eliza said quite simply 'I never take the view for granted'.

That only cemented the fact that I liked her.
A lot.


They didn't want a lavish wedding. They wanted something small and intimate.
But you know how some things go. Especially weddings.
They seem to all of a sudden take on a life of their own.
As grand as it became though, the celebration had it's charming quieter moments too.

Lantern's swung from tree limbs in bright shades of yellow and orange, and the tents were drawn up
and decorated with beautiful lights that gave off an amber glow when the sun went down.
The private estate was the perfect location for their garden style wedding.

Their day was the last weekend before autumn began
and there was a difference in the air with the changing of seasons...
the feeling of something new about to begin.
Even the clouds started to change as they do this time of year,
by getting lower, dreamy and more dramatic in the sky.

By nightfall the women were wearing the men's suit jackets to bundle up from the chill.
The fire from the open flames of the caterer filled the backyard with the most delicious aroma,
as Eliza and Mike swayed to the band under the tent.


When the start of something new begins there is a sense of appreciation for the moment.
You take it all in.
The sights, the sounds, the smell, the feeling, and the people around you.
And while time may not give us the opportunity to appreciate and be thankful for every single moment -
we can make a moment linger a bit more by appreciating it for all that it's
worth at that exact moment we are in it.
I think Eliza said it best...'never take the view for granted'.

Maybe that's why I love my job.
I witness new beginnings all the time.
Whether it's the start of a marriage, or the birth of your first child...
or a wonderful event or achievement, I get to celebrate it with you in some way.
I laugh at the antics of the guests, adore the relationships I witness, and I cry along with you during vows.
It's personal for me.

Life can get crazy. We forget more then we remember sometimes.
But documenting a moment, holds onto that moment for all that it's worth.
And when you can visit it again and me that's worth the moon and stars.

While going through your images I re-lived your day once again.
Your grace, your appreciation and your love was apparent.
In your beginning, I saw your happy ending.

Tickling the ivory...

A dress with a view...

Eliza's bridesmaid Kristin, made this set for her.
It looked perfect on her!

And the butterflies begin...

I like his expression here...


A shared laugh...

A shared tear...

I remember hearing Eliza say to someone she wanted a picture of the clouds because
she thought they looked so amazing. 
Well Eliza, I do have to put them to shame ; ) 

I love a moment like this. Before or in between a portrait when a relaxed smile comes across their face. 
And I swear all she would need are wings to look exactly like an angel...

I fell head over heels for them when they had two hours blocked off before the ceremony for pictures. 
It's wonderful to be able to have the luxury of time. 
So many times photographer's only have time in between the ceremony and the cocktail hour to do bridal portraits, groom portraits, the bridal party, the couple, and all of the family formals.
Most of the time too, the time gets cut short due to unexpected events or traffic,
so it's nice when there is extra 'padding'. 
I think it also gives the bride and groom a relaxed experience.

Here is Eliza and Mike seeing each other for the first time...

Here is the peanut gallery looking on! ; ) 

Doesn't it look like they're in some place exotic?
Sea Cliff, Long Island...folks. 
They should charge admission for people to see it : )  

The moment before a kiss...

a relaxed portrait...

You guys are awesome!

The ceremony and reception took place in 
Old Brookville, Long Island 

Guests arriving...


Yellow just exudes happiness, doesn't it?

I thought the cake looked divine. 
I love the whole garden party feel it gave.

Soo the cake toppers started off the beginning of the night facing out (see image above)...
by the end of the night they were making out!

'With this ring...'

You all should have been there for when they said their own vows...

A moment like this you kinda want to keep in your pocket for a rainy day...

Some details....

When the sun went down...
(for all of you photographer's this was ambient light at ISO 10,000 -
the sky was not touched in post processing!)

I had said goodnight to Eliza and Mike and was on my way to my car when
I thought that maybe I could get one last shot.
So I turned around and went back to find them.
If they thought I was crazy, they didn't mention it. Well, at least to me! ; )

 It was pitch black outside, but I thought we might be able to capture a bit of the ambiance still.
Looking back now, technically, I would have done things differently, but I still think it caught a nice moment.
(Again, ambient 2.8, 1/30 hand held, 16,000 ISO).

My Top 5:

Favorite Moment:  When they read their own vows. *Sob*

Coolest: I thought the pop of yellow on the guys looked waay cool.

Sentimental: When Eliza's Mom saw Eliza doing portraits. Tears were streaming down her face and I couldn't help but think that she was imagining her little girl just as that. Little.

Unique:  Personalized flip-flops!!

Funniest: Mike's brother's speech about the 'tropical fish'.


The beginning and the end are usually what is significant - it's what we remember most.
But really it's the 'in-between', the stuff in the middle that make up most days in our lives.
Our day to day routine - is really what life is made of.
And it's up to all of us to decide what to fill those days with.

I hope Eliza and Mike that everyday is an adventure for you.
That each and every day is a new beginning.
A new smile, a shared moment, more kisses, and time spent well.

Live each day as if it was a new beginning, and I can almost assure you a very happy ending.


Thanks to 'The Knot' publication for the feature and 'referral'!
If you would like to get some inspiration for a wedding, check out their site for some fun ideas!


Before you go, please leave your thoughts below.
20 comments = a complimentary gift for the bride and groom!


Monday, September 26, 2011

The Value of Time - Ms. Sarafina's First Birthday Portraits

Happy first birthday Ms. Sarafina!

 5 outfit changes, and a few props later...she was still this happy.
What a sweetheart!

I can't. Even. Stand. The. Cuteness. 

I see a very good mix of Mom and Dad in this next one.

A balloon to a child, I somtimes think, is like a million dollars to an adult.

Don't believe me?!
Here's further proof.

 A child not only teaches us about life and ourselves, but also the value of time.
That it's okay to sit down for a minute to take in the day, the moment, the wonder of it all.
It's okay to leave the dishes in the sink and the laundry in the baskets.
They won't notice.
But you will.

Maybe you'll have a minute longer to think how much has changed since you first met them.
How much they have grown, and really how we have grown within the first year of having a child.

Value is what we make of it.
So make the most out of it.
Sometimes, even for adults...maybe it should be...all about the 'balloon'.


Sarafina, my wish for you is that you keep your wonderful curiosity and big ambitions which helped
you accomplish so many milestones this year...for life's big ride.
That, along with your happy disposition and love of 'balloons' will take you far.


I'm thinking I may have talked in a riddle up there.
I may have lost a few of you on this last post.
Sorry. It's late.
I hope some of you got it.
Literally and figuratively speaking ; )

There are 365 days in a year.

8,760 hours.

525,600 minutes.

31,536,000 seconds.

All have which have been made better, fuller and more precious...

by one tiny person.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's Complicated - Mary + James - Cresent Beach Country Club

While my blog posts are usually pretty verbose, this one is more to the point.
I'm going to steal the groom's words here, because I think he said it best....

"In the simplest and most complicated of terms, I love you. "

The card went on to say...
'Would you mind very much if I sorta had a little crush on you forever?'



 The gorgeous Italian silk gown was by Peter Langner
The dupioni silk fabric was woven in a gorgeous pattern of white on white.
Badgley Mischka...'yes please'! 

Below is Mary's sisters and Mom.
Every time I see family together like that, I always...and I mean always wonder what life was like in their home. What adventures did they have together, what traditions do they maybe still keep?
The prep time is so emotional - it's such a pivotal point I think.
Not only is it the mood of the anticipation growing, but the idea of getting ready to move
on and start your own family.

The. Bow.

On the other side of town...James waits.

Mary, you were such a vision.
I do have to say, Sue, made an exceptional bow. It was totally worth the fuss! ; )

Just look at you...

What a chair, right?
I believe it was her grandmother's.
I loved it!

The ceremony took place at St. Anthony's in East Northport.
The sky was really that vivid.

After the ceremony Mary and James were in the back of a small room waiting to make their 
appearance outside the church.
I stole a quick moment.
One of my faves from the day.
Just look at how they look at each other.

The wedding reception took place at the Crescent Beach Club.
It feels as if you are on a cruise ship there.

Love how the sky was the same color as the girls dresses.
It wasn't even enhanced!
It just looked like you painted beautiful water colors across the sky to match them.  

Cocktails by the shore...

A relaxed moment...

I think they can give Ken and Barbi a run for their money, don't you?

A sunset stroll before the festivities...

My Top 5:

Favorite:  When Mary and James kissed through out the night...they really kissed. 
Not that quick peck stuff - a kiss that lingers a moment or two.   

Coolest: Okay, I wasn't really there for it but I think it still counts. Mary went to Kleinfeld in Manhattan to get her dress, and she had her picture taken with the 'Say Yes to the Dress' cast. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Sentimental: Mary's 'something old' was a locket pin that was sewn into the inside of her dress. Super sweet.

Unique: The potato bar. No really. You had to see it. All different kinds of potato's and toppings. They had sweet potato's with bowls of brown sugar and marshmallows, and mashed potato's with melted cheddar and real bacon. They served them in fancy stemware too. Mmmmm.

Funniest: When Mary put the ring on his wrong hand.


Thank you Mary and James for letting me be there for your day.
I loved watching the both of you get lost in moments with each other.

 In the simplest and most complicated of terms, be happy...always.


Thank you so much Sue for the referral!


Special thanks to my team, Emily and Jessica who helped on my last few weddings.
You're the best!


Before you go...please leave your thoughts below.
20 comments = a complimentary gift for the bride and groom!