Category Archives: northampton

CISA Taste the View

CISA Taste the View

I’m from Detroit. As a kid, I had no idea that food grew. I thought that it was made in magical food factories that delivered to stores. Moving to the suburbs, people were most interested in chemical fertilizer, spraying weeds, and flowers. Not vegetables. In fact, it was probably against code to grow food on your property.

Now, I live in the Valley. What valley you ask? The Pioneer Valley, whose soil is the envy of the world. I’ve been here now for a couple of years and I’ve learned about local farms, and food producers in general. There are dozens, even hundreds around here. I reached out to help, and I’ve been commissioned to photograph some of these places through a Local Hero Program by CISA. Farmers markets, pastry shops and cafés, fancy restaurants such as Bistro les Gras that source local ingredients, Smith College who uses local farmers, farm shares (By the way, I will hereforth always have a farm share. They are simply awesome.) dairy farms, cheese makers, and even raw wool at New England Felting Supply.

I decided  to go to the annual fundraiser, Taste the View. And I took some pictures. And ate. The bruschetta, the orange infused fennel and the kale/quinoa pan fried in lots and lots of garlic were my favorites. These are just a snippet of how very beautiful it is around here in Western Mass.

wedding venue northampton ma union station

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s Amore!

Wedding venue Northampton MA Union Station.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I wanted to re-iterate how very lovely Union Station is for holding an event or wedding. It’s the real deal, the original wonderful station for this original wonderful town. If you find yourself searching for a wedding venue Northampton MA this is one to consider.

Corey’s new there, and he organizes events. He’s professional and kind. You’ll very likely enjoy working with him.

The DJ for this wedding was also very nice, though his name escapes me. I think he said he’s on thumbtack.

Abbey Chappel at Mount Holyoke College is amazing as always. I do admit that that campus is superior to my alma mater’s, Smith. I do have a special love for Helen Hills Hills (sic) Chapel. But I digress.

Last but not least, the couple. Oh my goodness. Couldn’t have possibly been more lovely and nice to work with. The end of the night included an Italian music set. First, the noodle roni song, very festive. Then That’s Amore … the bride happened to be hugging her grandma, and when that song began, they held their embrace. The crowd noticed and formed a circle around them. It became an impromptu bride/grandmother dance. Just thinking about it gets me all teary-eyed. How people could not love photographing weddings, when things like this happen, is beyond me. These are the most important things to experience, and photograph. It’s what makes us human. I was close to both of my grandmother’s so this dance was especially sweet for me.

Speaking of sweets, I ate two cannolis (pictured) but could have easily gone for more. If you hire me, I make sure to put, “allowed to eat cannolis” in my contract.

hotel northampton wedding july 2017

This Hotel Northampton wedding gave me a new appreciation for the place. The last wedding I photographed there in October offered me little light to show off the beauty that the huge windows offer. This summer, I barely used a flash at all in the atrium, in the lobby and even in the “Grand Ballroom.” I was able to see the details of the historical hotel.

The bride is exuberant in nearly every single picture. I don’t think I even took a picture of her when she didn’t look like she was floating on air with happiness.

I made sure to include some pictures of the lovely town of Northampton, MA. The picture of her on the balcony of her room is one of my favorites.

I always like to take pictures at night, something most people forget to do because they’re in full dance mode. The couples are always to have a break and get some fresh air for a couple of minutes. The town is lively at night. The pretty turn of the century patterns along the street are especially nice at night.

The bride got ready in one of the rooms, which featured a big round window and two story high ceilings and balcony (pictured).

They had a traditional Mass at Elizabeth Ann Seton parish on King Street, just steps from the hotel.

One of the best things about photographing weddings is getting to know the key players: the wedding party, the family and cherished friends. The family was especially nice. The mom of the groom is pictured below serving me a cup of ice water. What a sweet lady. The brother of the groom got me a candy bar from the corner store. What a sweet guy.

 

 

Hotel Northampton wedding  July 2017

red barn at hampshire college wedding

The Red Barn at Hampshire College Wedding July 2017

This wonderful Wedding at The Red Barn at Hampshire College was my second at this venue. The grounds are perfect. A majestic oak tree is where the couples say their vows. The tree reminds us of all of the beauty and strength of the natural world. It protects the couple and it empowers the words of the ceremony. It really is breathtaking.

It’s a bit of a walk to the tree especially for people wearing heels so there’s a golf cart to bring people.

The catering is always great. I heard  it was Seth Mias. He does catering in the area for Smith College events and many many more. There were delicious potatoes, grilled vegetables, fish, and most tasty butternut squash ravioli with walnuts.

There’s a permanent Cornhole set that guests enjoy. Reminds me of my days in Michigan and Ohio.

I wish I knew who did the flowers and cake, because as you can see from the many photos, I really liked them.

There’s always something very unique about every couple. This bride looked adorable and pretty in her choice of tea length dress, crown of flowers, and floral pumps.

And the barn, oh the barn. One of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. That warm, old wood. They cut out these cool windows to create pictures of the landscape.

The DJ was Northampton’s own Joan Holliday from the River. A station that is located just steps away from my new home. She, like me, loves special weddings such as this one.

 

union station northampton ma

Union Station Northampton MA

I shot a beautiful wedding a few weeks back, before the sweet sixteen party on Long Island, NY.

The couple took pictures at the Quad at Smith College. The bride lived at Martha Wilson House. I lived in the Quad as an undergrad and didn’t appreciate how very pretty and harmonious it is. The pictures are coming soon. It’s crazy season for me and I have little time for anything at all.

It was the first time I’d been to Union Station. It’s beautiful. Not too big, not too small, warm, with a gigantic fireplace.

Hope I’ll be able to shoot there more often. Besides fields and farms, it’s for sure the prettiest location in Western Mass that I’ve seen.

In other news, my sweet kindergartener just graduated. We had a party at Look Park (another great place for weddings by the way). It was the sweetest thing needless to say. The kids played at the waterpark and I took pictures with my new-to-me 1968 Hasselblad, a camera that I bought on Ebay. Nobody had ever used it before. It came with all the trimmings including the original aluminum case. Some things I had to take the original wrapping off. I’m still pinching myself that I have it.

Happy Summer, Everyone!

 

Hotel Northampton wedding

This is the first time I photographed a Hotel Northampton wedding. I’d photographed several small weddings at the Hotel, some taking place in the bridal suites, some just for the getting ready portion of the weddings, and one on the porch of a hotel room. But never had I photographed a whole wedding, a big banquet style wedding at the beautiful, historical hotel.

I had a lot of obligations but I tried to at once photograph the couple wherever they were, and highlight the beauty of the hotel and surrounding town. In my view, the most lovely part of the hotel is the portion perhaps called the atrium, or front porch. They do a great job of placing beautiful plants throughout. The large windows offer nice lighting and views of the vibrant outdoor life of Northampton. And there’s adequate, comfortable cushioned benches on which people can relax and enjoy themselves.and then there’s this beautiful cake:

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Also very beautiful is the banquet room. At first it seemed sort of stuffy, but in pictures, it conveyed a classic historical New England-y charm:

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Also of special note was the outward excitement and happiness conveyed by the groom. He was so excited about marrying the bride, he just couldn’t contain himself. As someone who photographs lots of weddings, it’s especially adorable to see a groom such as this…… additional photos of the adorable mother-of-the-groom-with-groom and with friends, as well.

img_8563 img_8558 img_0151 img_8955 img_8963-2 img_8994-2 img_9076Of course weddings are about the couple, and also of the bride. This bride reminded me of myself 20 years ago. But she has an Audrey Hepburn vibe that was a pleasure to capture in pictures. The bride had the Classic Hollywood style, yet she is a huge fan of Blink 182 and the like. An original combination, illustrated by the classic beautiful portraits, and the pointy blacky-red manicure and studded platform shoes. See for yourself.

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When I met the couple, they were concerned with the late ceremony and early sunset. The lady at the Hotel, encouraged them to get the pictures done ahead of time. But they didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony. I assured them that we’d get some outdoor photos, and even some fun night time pictures. And so they waited to see each other and came outside on that iconic Northampton crosswalk. Yes, that crosswalk that everyone loves, at night……

And lastly, some random photos. A cats with hat coloring book that the bridesmaids colored in while waiting for hair and make-up, a bridesmaid on the ground whose broken zipper had to be repaired on the spot. Alternative shoes for the groom. A happy mother of the bride. A Hotel Northampton doormat. My signature elevator picture. And some Northampton photos.

 

future’s so bright

The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.

Enjoy this song while I go on…..

This was a tent wedding on the property of the parents of the bride. I am a huge fan of tent weddings. Backyard weddings. I appreciate all of the love and work that goes into making an event such as this happen.

We met before the wedding and they actually asked me which way the ceremony should be facing.  I replied that while it would be back lit, the pictures would be colorful, and glowing with sun speckles, glare spots and sparkling light. It wouldn’t be a straightforward image, but it would be much more interesting and magical than if we were faced the other way. And, there were beautiful flowers in that direction.

Here, you will see why I chose not to photograph in the other direction. While people might think direct sun is nice, and sometimes it is, it didn’t work in this situation. The light was bright. The couple would have been squinting the whole time. The sun would have been in their eyes and they would have been distracted during one of the most important moments of their life, and as you can see, half of the scene would have been in the shade. Here’s what not to do below:

The family and couple seemed to understand right away, and I’m happy they did. Their garden was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The day was a perfect break from the oppressive heat of just a few days before. I loved every bit of this wedding, from the bonding of the families of the bride and groom, to the setting, to the heater inside the tent, to the expansive Indian buffet by Bombay Royale.

Without further ado, enjoy the sparkle of the day:

Oh! and before I go, I’d like to say that it was very nice to meet the DJ and Planner, Fern!