November 30, 2015

Behind The Frame: Finding The “Real” Moments

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Family Portraits can be a long tedious resulting in formal photos that get framed on parents work desks, but are otherwise never looked at.  I wrote back in October about watching your subject for a few extra seconds after the final shot because the “in-between” moments can often be the best.  You can also find wonderful authentic moments right after the formal one is taken.  While I’m shooting family formals I always instruct my second shooter to point the lens in the other direction the family standing behind me waiting to be photographed, which can result in amazing candid shots.  I also try to hold the camera for a beat longer on my subject to see what unfolds.  This shot was taken during cocktail hour when we had a long list of extended family photos moving in and out of this frame.  When we finally finished the bride and her sister gave their parents a kiss on the cheek and that little moment became my favorite of the day.  The way the bride’s dad is closing his eyes and reaching out to hold the bride’s shoulder is the punctum (see previous post) that makes this photo truly special for me.

November 25, 2015

Angela and Young’s Wedding at the Wythe Hotel, New York City Fine Art Wedding Photography

Angela and Young were married on a beautiful Fall day in Williamsburg at the Wythe Hotel.  The bride and groom both got ready with their friends and family at the hotel and then met downstairs for a very sweet first look followed by portraits around the hotel in Williamsburg.  The day was extremely windy, which made for some fun photos with the bride’s beautiful ruffled Hayley Paige dress.  The ceremony took place in the hotel’s courtyard under strings of twinkle lights followed by cocktail hour in the lower terrace. The groom, a fitness and nutrition coach, personalized their ceremony and surprised the guests when he had the officiant ask everyone to take a moment to stretch during the ceremony, which was a favorite moment, and one of my favorite photos of the day!   After the ceremony the bride and groom went up to their suite to sign the marriage license and took a quick celebratory moment to jump on the bed, another of my favorite moments of the day!  The reception took place inside the hotel and the room was transformed by Blush Designs into a lush and romantic fairy-tale space full of deep red tones with gold accents and hundreds of candles, perfect for an evening of dinner and dancing.  See more from this lovely wedding on Style Me Pretty!

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Coordination: Whimsy Weddings 
Floral Design: Blush Designs 
Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige 
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka 
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo 
Catering: Reynard 
Hair And Makeup: Michiko Boorberg 
Groom’s Attire: Michael Andrews Bespoke 
Officiant: Secular Wedding New York 
Venue: Wythe Hotel 
Ceremony Band: Dolce Vita Strings 
Thank you to Monika Eisenbart for second shooting and Rachel Watkinson for assisting and Richard Photo Lab for scanning and processing.

November 23, 2015

Behind The Frame: Building Trust with your Clients

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Gaining your clients trust is one of the most important elements of taking a portrait.  Shooting a portrait is like a dance, it must be done together and you must trust your dance partner.  If you are posing your client and feel nervous or unsure they’ll pick up on it and it will make them nervous, which will then reflect in their face in the image.  I’m always excited to try out a new idea and they definitely don’t always work, but when that happens you still have to remain confident.  Sometimes when it’s really not working I won’t bother taking the photo and I’ll just laugh and say well that didn’t work and make some kind of joke to make them feel at ease and then immediately go into something that I know will look great so we can get right back into the flow of the session.  For many couples I get to know the bride well through meetings, phone calls and emails, but often I’ve only met or talked to the groom once before their engagement session or wedding (which is one of the great reasons to do an engagement session) so they tend to trust me a little less than the bride.  For this session we were on the beach right at sunset and the sun was the most amazing shade of pink shining right over the horizon.  However it was a little too bright, and being on the beach there was nothing to flag the light with so I asked the couple to lift their blanket above their heads and look at each other under the blanket.  The light diffused into this perfect pink sheen, with a little sun flare right over the groom’s head.  Now I had the great light, but I could tell the groom felt a little silly so this is where trust becomes important.  My personality by nature is to gush and get very excited when I know I’m getting an image like this, others may become more quiet or focused, but whatever you do you have to communicate to your client that what their doing, although it may seem a little odd, will make an incredible photo.  I asked them to lean into each other like they were about to kiss, but instead of kissing, just smile at each other, which creates this lovely very intimate moment.  This photo feels to me as if someone literally lifted the blanket from on top their heads and is peering into a little slice of life, which just happens to be a moment full of love as their eyes lock and his hand gently pulls her in closer from the waist.  If they hadn’t trusted me that this photo was great the gaze in their eyes would have been completely different, and that, for me at least, is the whole magic of the photo.