Category Archives: engagement photo

engaged!! now what? 7 wedding planning tips from a photographer

Wedding planning tips by me, a photographer.

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Happy New Year and congratulations on getting engaged! It’s fairy tale romantic, until the gargantuan task of planning a wedding hits you. Fear not, what you perceive as big issues are just brimming with possibilities. You may not want to hear some of this, but trust me things will go more smoothly if you consider the following wedding planning tips.

  1. It’s not all about you and your dream wedding, at least not in every situation. Recently I had a bride who wanted to dress like a ‘boy’ but she didn’t, because she wanted to make her terminally ill dad happy by wearing a dress.

Let’s talk about moms. It is about them too, like it or not. They also want to look gorgeous, and they often have a dream of what the day will be like. Humor them. They love you more than you’ll ever know. Unless you have kids, then you know.

  1. Choosing a bridal party is often a sensitive task. Especially if you want a big group and you have a lot of friends. Personally, I think people will get over it. And in many cases, be relieved that they weren’t chosen. But don’t be surprised if someone outside of your bridal party ends up being your angel on your big day. There is always, always someone who comes out of the blue and saves the wedding day. It may be your sister or your maid of honor, but often it’s a random friend who sews your dress back together, who finds your earring, who decorates the last minute indoor setting plan B. Just appreciate it and know that angels do exist. Not wedding planning tips, but a fortuitous aspect to consider.

  2. Please please don’t fret about the weather. Just be zen about it, not just on the outside, but deeply. We all know that there’s nothing you can do to control the weather. I have been to dozens of too hot, too rainy weddings, and nothing was lost. Rain is like a special effect. So is fog and wind. Some of my prettiest pictures were from rainy weddings.

  3. Pick vendors you personally like. A snobby florist, a pushy photographer, and an inflexible caterer has no place in your special day. Save all your compromises for your loved ones, not vendors.

  4. Cut costs wherever possible, but realize that you will pay in other ways. Sanity, time and money. Pick two. Even if you’re uber-organized and can DIY like no other those projects are very time-consuming. If you love it, go for it! But beware of the dream that you can do all flowers yourself. Once, as guests were arriving at a wedding the bridal party was still arranging the centerpieces. Avoid that kind of hustling whenever possible. And know that everything takes more time than you think.

  5. Related to #5, don’t worry about every little detail. I hereby give you permission to dump those ideas you just saw on Pinterest. No, you don’t have to make cookies in a handmade bag as a parting gift for each guest. Before Pinterest, before the sea of wedding blogs, people still got married. Weddings don’t have to have a theme. I’ve gone to weddings where essentially nothing was done to the table settings. Just some nice cloth napkins and a simple centerpiece. And I’ve been to weddings that were more elaborate than the Taj Mahal. While it’s wonderful to have those special touches it’s not essential for a festive wedding.

  6. When things get stressful, repeat after me, HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA! Don’t take it too seriously. Watch a lot of comedies on Netflix. I won’t go so far as to say your problems are first world problems, but they are. Remember what you’re doing, marrying that love of your life, that person who is on the same team as you, who will always go up to bat for you. Now knock it out of the park and happy wedding planning. Call if you have any further questions or would actually like solicited advice.

Bonus piece of advice. Dress for the season, and make sure your shoes are comfortable or at least broken in.

Coffee Love at Astro Coffee

This is one of my favorite engagement portraits of all time. It took place at Astro Coffee, a wonderful little spot in the Corktown district of Detroit. Corktown happens to be a small, up and coming so to speak, neighborhood. It’s uncharacteristically filled with colorful Victorian Houses. Astro Coffee is not just for locals; people come from far and wide to visit this cozy little cafĂ©. I didn’t try to coffee, but it took a while to make a cappuccino. That’s a sign that it’s great coffee, no? I loved the lighting and decor. After that, we went to Supino’s Pizza, at my suggestion. (Pleading?) As a New Yorker, or at least honorary since I lived there for so many years, I can say that Supino is just as good as the best NYC pizza place. Viva la slice.

are you ready for the future? try film photography

My film camera is up and running again after a brief repair hiatus. I have to check myself when I run away with the convenience and clarity of digital photography, which I like to call pixel phtography. At first, it was horrible. Especially the separation of pixels with color, but now, it’s wonderful, so if you love pixel photography go crazy. But my film camera is where my heart lies. Film is wonky and imperfect, the grain is sometimes dramatic. Why spend hours in photoshop trying to achieve the effect of film grain when you can simply get the real thing by dusting off your old cameras and having fun? Photography was never broken. In fact, it was better. That’s why you treasure the prints from your grandparents, and risk losing your current photos in the cloud.

With a digital camera, I complain about the weight when I use one that’s too heavy. But with the film cameras, I marvel at the weight of the lenses, and the quality of the glass. If you oohhh and ahh about traditional film photography, call me and I’ll show you my old cameras.

I hope that film remains alive and well for a long time. It used to be so easy to turn in your film canisters to the drugstore. Much easier than remembering to make prints from your iPhone. I hope that it becomes the future of photography.

northampton engagement pictures

Another afternoon of Northampton engagement pictures, but not your typical one. We began in Childs Park. It’s a place with lots of trees, open spaces, and little ponds filled with frogs. People enjoy this park as it’s free of organized sports. It makes for a peaceful, quiet experience. I wasn’t sure how the couple would react to getting their pictures taken. First I thought they may be shy. I was completely wrong. This couple is cute, quirky, and wonderful in a hundred ways. I met them at the Hotel Northampton, and we sat in the lobby. We talked for a long long time. We talked about music. They like Emo, metal, thrash, etc. They wondered how to reconcile this love with their wedding dj. Honestly, I’ve been to many weddings, and some couples like alternative music, but only a few songs of their preference are honored. We’ll see about this wedding. We also talked about cars. He repairs Mercedes. We also talked a little about the wedding, too. Halloween. Emo. Cool.

He wore a black shiny shirt and all-stars for the pictures. She wore studded boots and a sweater with a gray cross on it. There was sweetness in the air, and beautiful puffy clouds to boot. I took them up the hill for a view after we left Childs Park. We had a view of the prison, and they both told me that they’ve worked in prisons before. I cannot wait until their wedding day!

photography coupon on everything

cover photo final-2488

Photography coupon, valid if you book by March 1, 2016 or before.

Dear Friends,

As 2015 draws to an end, I wanted to ring in the photographs of 2016 by doing lots of pro-active things. First, I’m renovating my studio, so that I’ll be able to create wonderful indoor pictures for everything from couples to moms-to-be to rock stars and actors. Second, I’m buying a cool new camera that’s supposed to be delivered today, along with a new fancy lens. Nothing excites me more professionally, than a new fancy lens. It’s like getting new eyes. And lastly, I’m offering a 20% photography coupon discount to anyone who books at 2016 photo session with me before March 1, 2016. I hope to have some wonderful studio days before then.

Oh yes! I serve mainly Northampton and the Pioneer Valley, but also love all of New England, and the New York tri-state area.

This can be for anything: children, family, maternity, musicians, artists, authors, CEOs, linked in profile pictures, dancers, boudoir, engagement, bridal you name it. I’ll even include brand storytelling, where I’ll go into your place of business and document the environment and products, and the people who work and shop/eat/drink there.

Incidentally, it hasn’t even gotten cold here in New England yet. Well, to my sister who visited from Florida for Thanksgiving, it may be cold, but to me, it’s balmy. It may not even be necessary for many people, to take indoor pictures, as it’s in the 50s these days. But for those who want studio pictures, use the photography coupon and let do this!

Today I’ll be taking pictures of a family by a creek. Delightful. In this crazy time in our world, I want to wish everyone a peaceful, joyous holiday season and a prosperous new year!