Engagement: Colleen and Steve

I don’t usually have enough time to post engagement shoots in a methodical way on here, but boy oh boy have I been doing them, and loving them. They’re a central part to one of my most important goals — making the couple feel as comfortable as possible with the process of photography (and learning to ignore said process) on the day of the wedding.

So, here’s a taste from an engagement shoot with Colleen and Steve in Brooklyn Heights:

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He said he loved the air conditioners as a pattern, she said this was a typical reaction of hers.


(“Brenizer method” panorama)

Ryan Brenizer Photography

The year of the …

I know, there are few more trite things for a wedding photographer to say than “I love my clients.” But I do — and I don’t have to say it, since they’ve paid me already.

Yes, I greatly enjoy working with my corporate contacts, and I am proud to work for so many non-profits and charities who do powerful work. But when you spend such intimate, joyful moments with people, their friends and families, there is a very different sort of bond. I freely admit that wedding photojournalism is not the same as editorial photojournalism. While I can be playfully subversive in ways that are “un-weddingy” depending on the environment, I’m not there to shine a cold light of unsympathetic truth. I’m there to see things that I love, and show them.

And so I love keeping track of where they’re from, where they’re going, what forces shape their lives. And I enjoy seeing connections and patterns — and since this is a self-selective group, they’re everywhere. Last year, I photographed weddings of five chiropractors. This year, architects, TV producers, and medical students abound (the speeches at Saturday’s wedding were the first I’ve seen to extol the benefits of yeast research.) I’ve seen the same guests at unrelated weddings, had bridesmaids come up to me and tell me I did their cousin’s wedding, and I get a kick out of it every time. And then, of course, is the referral effect. It saddens me that I’ve run out of Berger and Karplus siblings — there is little cooler than walking into the start of the day at the mother’s house and seeing the walls covered with your photos.

What patterns are next? Secretly, I’m hoping for rodeo clowns.

(By the way, when you shoot a wedding between two chiropractors and start shaking your wrist after too many hours of holding a giant camera, guests will immediately offer to adjust you.)