long island wedding

Kevin & Stephen: Engagement Shoot

Kevin, Stephen and I became fast friends on the first day I officially met them at my family restaurant. They were regular customers; always ordering virtually the same meal, and they always had my then crush, Mark, as their waiter. Well, one day they came in and Mark wasn’t there. I figured I would take them, make them like me, and they would put a good word in for me with Mark.

Well, fast forward four years, I married that crush, Mark, and we’re all still very good friends. The best part of having these two in my life is their ability to inspire me. Stephen, an author of (hold on, let me count them all in my office…) SIX books is an imaginative, funny, smart and compassionate person. His drive is contagious. Kevin, doesn’t just stop at being a very successful Software Engineer/Architect. Oh, no. Kevin has developed photo editing apps, games, and is currently getting his Masters. Even with all that on his plate, Kevin is an intentional listener, and goes out of his way for all in his life. I cherish these two people, deeply.

After they’re engagement, they asked if I could photograph some engagement photos for them. They were getting married exactly six months after Mark and I, and I was honored to be a part of their wedding party. Their day was beautiful, and even better, their book that they created about their wedding is just as fantastic. (I think that brings Stephen’s published book count to 7, actually)

We photographed their engagement photos at Coindre Hall in Huntington NY, the place they were getting married. We chose right before sunset, and honestly just had fun together. Even with friends, you have to break the wall of comfort with the camera. It’s natural for people to feel self conscious, or wonder “if they’re doing it right.” Once you’re able to break that wall, and, tap into the genuine nature of a relationship, well, that’s when the magic happens.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from a day with my two favorite people.

Chelsea & Lindsay: A Love Story

Back in October, Lindsay reached out to me and asked if I would photograph her upcoming wedding in June. Hesitant, because it would be my first wedding as a solo photographer, I asked "Are you sure?"

If you're a reader of these blog posts, you might see a common thread. Many people have seen my talent before I have, haha.

"At Tricia's wedding, you said to us how you loved the way Chelsea looked at me as I walked down the aisle. You observed something we didn't even knew we were doing." And, that is how I got my first wedding; I observed a love story. Actually, scratch that, I marveled at a love story. The truth is, I remember watching their eyes at my friend, Tricia's, wedding. Chelsea, who is a little shy at first, beamed with happiness whenever Lindsay was around. And, Lindsay, well, you've never seen someone more proud to call someone their partner, and now wife, than Lindsay. Together, their soul signatures are magnetic.

Their wedding was in Fenton, Michigan. And, to be honest,  I couldn't have been more excited for this adventure. My first wedding, and I was gifted the opportunity to travel to a new state. Little did I know I'd end up driving through multiple states overnight to get to it.

The week before their wedding, I was diagnosed with three tears in my shoulder. While it's something I'm still dealing with, that week, the pain was another level. "I'm not going to give up this opportunity" I said to Mark as I sat icing. "The new shoulder strap rests on my left, so all I need to do is use my right to click. I can do that."

We arrived at the airport 2 hours early as a precautionary. We got through security with only one odd moment (I couldn't raise my hands above my head, so I had to go through a different check) and we rested at our gate. Sitting there, I had a feeling something was amiss. I looked up to see our flight had been delayed. "We'll still catch our connector, so we're okay." Ten minutes later, I looked up to see our flight had been delayed again. Eventually, our flights were cancelled. 

Frantic, I pulled out my phone and mapped the drive to Michigan. It was 7PM New York time; if we were on the road by 8 we would make it to their house by 9am the next day. After renting a car, grabbing the ez-pass out of our car (we didn't want to take our own car since we were definitely taking whatever flight available back) off we went on a 14 hour journey, with no food, no energy drinks, no water, but with a lot of determination. Playing Oregon Trail all those years ago truly benefited us :) 
 

We arrived in Detroit at 6 a.m. (before schedule!) traded in our first rental for the rental we had scheduled (a red mustang) and drove up to Fenton. After an hour of sleep, we were soon in the bustle of everyone getting ready. And, from there, all I had to do was shoot a wedding. My first wedding. No pressure or anything.

Two months later and I still fly high from that day. To think of all the things that happened, and, to be able to successfully capture their love, well, it's a feeling not all of us are fortunate enough to experience. I am grateful for this day, and for all the people who made it happen. Tricia, for introducing us, Chelsea and Lindsay for trusting me, for the woman at Avis who got us a really good price on the rental car, and for Mark, for letting go of his normal inhibitions and flying by the seat of his pants with me. 

Without all of this, who knows if this website, if this calling, if this business, would be off the ground like it is now. 

Thank you, Lindsay and Chelsea. You have given me the greatest gift; the gift of finally following my dreams. 

Here are a few of my favorites. 

Kelly & Phil: From an Engagement to a First Look (and, everything in between)

True friendship is one that ignites your soul, encourages your passion, and supports your dreams.

Kelly and Phil have done all of that for me.

Since the day they've gotten engaged, they have asked me to be a part of their wedding planning process. From their engagement photos on Fire Island, to being a bridesmaid, and photographing all the moments in between, their wedding day was extraordinarily special for me. 

As a bridesmaid, I also had the honor to photograph the morning of their wedding, as well as, their first look. Entering Kelly's childhood home that morning was surreal; it felt like everything had become full circle. I love the "getting ready" process of the day more than anything; the excitement, the love, the emotions- it all just fills the room in a way that is hard to explain. After we both got ready, I slipped on my poncho (it rained all morning so we had to relocate the first look space to the backyard of Kelly's childhood home. In the end, it felt even more special) and sat with Kelly and her best friend as we waited for the groom and groomsmen to arrive. (On a side note, in Phil's trifold pamphlet that he gave everyone, he emphasized that the bridesmaids must be ready by 1PM... The groomsmen were the ones running 45 minutes late that day. Never forget that women run the world)

 

We settled on this beautiful spot outside that overlooked the Long Island Sound. I wanted to make sure Kelly and Phil had this moment, so after giving very stern instructions to the mass amount of people in the house to stay in the front of the house, I met Phil outside. One of my favorite moments was how emotional we both became standing outside. This was it, it was finally here. In natural Phil and Leanne fashion, we started to make jokes- after all, I didn't want to mess up my makeup. 

To be a part of their first look will forever stay with me. To bare witness to genuine, pure, love is a gift, and it is one I'll treasure for the rest of my days.

Here are some of my favorite photos along their journey; from their engagement, to Kelly's shower, to a secret boudoir shoot, to their first look.