Rockleigh Country Club Wedding: Leigh and Bernie

You know, being based in the Northeast, I really didn’t expect to shoot so many hurricane-affected weddings that I’d start to develop an expertise at it. But starting with Erika and Chip’s wedding that Hurricane Irene rolled through, to a slew of November weddings I shot in Sandy-ravaged parts of NY and New Jersey, I’m starting to feel like hurricanes are just another part of the job to deal with, like makeup artists who nonchalantly run an hour or more off schedule.*

Leigh and Bernie had the worst bit of the post-Sandy schedule, with their wedding date falling on the Friday just a few days after, and locations on either side of the New York/New Jersey border. In some ways they were lucky — the reception hall got their power back a couple hours before the reception. In some ways they weren’t — the ceremony church thought they’d have the power back, but didn’t, so they neither had lights nor preparations to deal with not having light, meaning that the photos you see from the ceremony were too dark for the naked eye to see in any detail (thank you, Nikon D3s and f/1.4 lenses). I also started shooting the ceremony at more or less of a full sprint because a downed power line blocked the only road that led to the church. After more than 300 weddings, you think you’ve seen it all, but there’s always more in store — so we make it work anyway. I was helped in this by Adeel Bukhari, who not only did a fantastic job as an assistant and took some great photos, but had the most important asset anyone could that day — a car with enough gas to get around.

So … Hurricane Sandy? Leigh and Bernie have a message for you. (NSFWish)

The important thing is that even a hurricane can’t get in the way of a fantastic couple and their loved ones having an amazing time. Their emotions were close to the surface all day, and these were emotions of fun and laughter and love, not frustration. And the reception was a wild release, people dancing and laughing even though some had just suffered massive damage to their homes, and no one cared that the reception flowers didn’t arrive, or tht cars were lined up in front of the reception hall in a futile attempt to find gasoline nearby. Weddings are celebration, and the rest is just stories for the grandkids.

*They didn’t here; that’s just an all-too-common occurance.

Elissa - You rock so hard, Ryan. I love how you chronicle your adventures, as well as the amazing photos that you take. This wedding is gorgeous; love the shots of the bride being swung around and also the kid being thrown :)

Joe Chahwan - That’s what we should call “Wedding Photography” not what is posted and seen everywhere these days.

Hat down Sir.

Bogdan - I’d say something but I have to collect my jaw from the floor where it dropped when I saw the pictures first…
The outside picture with “Sandy” is just epic.
Awesome work, as usual!

jashim Jalal - Damn! Did you paint the flames in that last shot too??? These are too good.

Martin Hambleton - How good are these photographs? Well, if I’d just stumbled across your blog and looked through them, I’d have said they were amazing. Then factor in the impact of the hurricane and …….. well, where do I start? Amazing doesn’t do them justice.

Brendan - Lovely couple, and it looks like they had amazing fun. Great writeup, Ryan.

Chris - That last shot is beyond killer.

Bjørn Hagen Aakre - Great work!

V Tran - Amazing photos despite the circumstances! You are indeed a story-teller and problem-solver.

June Andona - The bubble shot and the fire shot left me in awe! I just adore how you play with light.

Perry Vaile Adams - THE BUBBLE <3.

Andrea Barbagli - SUPERB!

Justin Wright - All good. Last Shot = killer.

Kat Gibson Spencer - Amazing!

Javed - Nothing but awesomeness, as usual.

Peter van der Ham - Brilliant as usual Ryan :)

Michael Fossella - Ryan, Leigh is my little sister, baby sister, only sister……….What you have done for her and Berine with these pictures are just unreal…unbelievable….and breath taking! I’m Michael Fossella and I want to thank you so much for capturing the memories for my sister and my brother in law, as well as my family. Thank you.

Dieter Koelbl - Your work is inspiring… the one outside from behind with the stormy night in the background is just amazing!!
Greets Dieter

stacy squires - these are great!!! nice work!! :)

Fotografo de bodas - Gerardo Cano - wow! Amazing photos! what a great use of light and especially the flash off camera …. great work!

Stephen Shefrin Photography - Gorgeous! I love the bridesmaid photo with the reflections… sweet!

Delia - Love your work! x

stefan - hochzeitsfotograf schweiz - Not saying that it is great shots due to the camera but the D4 is really something in low light. Great shots!

Hiep - That last fire shot is money! Great as always! =)

Monica Justesen Photography - Wow, wow, wow. Every single time, you astonish me, in the best way. I’m obsessed with that last photo!

Rain in the Rockleigh » Ryan Brenizer — NYC Wedding Photographer. Problem solver, storyteller. - […] first time I shot at the Rockleigh Country Club, it was just 36 hours after Hurricane Sandy destroyed the […]