Coming soon: Uvinie and Gniewko

If I had a nickel for every Sri Lankan/Polish union I’ve seen… I’d have a nickel.

Since people have asked, we are on the final round of Brenizer Method contest judging … but that requires three extremely busy photographer teams in very different time zones to be available at the same time as we hash it out. We’re working on it, and can’t wait to show the results.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: 70-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (equivalent of 25mm f/0.4 according to Brett’s calculator)

Boston Public Library Wedding: Erika and Chip Tear Up the Place

You may remember Erika and Chip from their first wedding, marred by Hurricane Irene.

Well, they gave it another go at the Boston Public Library, and it was fantastic.

No Photoshop compositing here. Normally I would enjoy any debates on this, but my mother is a super-powered librarian, so I’ll note that I visualized this shot the second I walked into the reading room, and had my second Jason Kan go to Barnes and Nobles and buy some books we could use for this.

Lens: Nikon 28mm f/1.8G
Camera: Nikon D3s

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Wedding, Kansas City: Asma and Mohsin

As a New Yorker, if I had to picture a Kansas City wedding, I’d likely list through “barbecue catering” and “blues band” long before hitting “Pakistani Muslim.” But one of the best things about this job are the constant surprises, and also working with clients as gracious and accommodating as Asma and Mohsin, and their families. It’s one thing to make sure your wedding photographer gets fed, and quite another to demand they get an amazing home-cooked meal before taking a photo. Despite the bistering heat of a Kansas City summer, it was a total pleasure.

The wedding was a two-day affair, with the mendhi at a conference center and the wedding reception at the gorgeous Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In between were a thousand great moments between Asma and Mohsin’s loved ones, the increasingly groan-worthy jokes of Asma’s brother as emcee, and enough comments about Mohsin’s fanaticism for typography that I wish I could give them their own special font for this post.

Long Island Aquarium Wedding: Andrea and Richard

This was not your normal wedding. First of all, unless you’re my Mom, Andrea has probably been following my work longer than you have. She first asked me to photograph this wedding years ago. And this was an official, “Are you free that weekend?” booking, not the fairly-common compliment of “I want you to photograph my wedding someday … now I just have to meet someone I like!”

So yes, it’s a compliment that after years of searching and planning, they never changed their mind about me having to document the day. But there’s also something unique about them simply knowing, years before they wanted to get married, that they would be together forever and this was the sort of way they would celebrate it.

Rogue fish, glasses flourished before a first kiss … even a lengthy PowerPoint presentation, it was geeky and fun and uniquely them throughout. Most impressive to me? Those flowers below … they’re not flowers. They’re incredibly delicate ceramic clay, both the bouquet and the boutonniere. Beautiful.

Thanks again to Valerie Sebestyen for helping me on this day in her extremely productive stint as an intern.

Battery Gardens wedding: Marisa and Joe

Marisa and Joe’s Battery Gardens wedding was awesome … a little too awesome.

OK, I’m kidding, there’s no such thing. But really, weddings like these make the rest of human experience look like it needs to try a little harder. Where is the hysterical laughter, the gorgeous dresses, the grandmothers lifted over heads, on a random Tuesday? Where are the private water taxis touring Brooklyn, the breakdance fights, the viral videos recorded on a streetcar?

I mean, Marisa made Call Me Maybe cool, for pete’s sake (and she stuck it in my head forevermore.) They took reception karaoke — usually a dance-floor killer — and made it into an incredibly raucous battle between bride and groom. Incredible.

Life, you need to work a little harder to live up to Joe and Marisa’s wedding.

Thanks again to Valerie Sebestyen for being a great help at this wedding — as a veteran of my workshops, she even managed a few great “Brenizer method” shots of the guys. (I don’t really walk around saying “I have a method,” so most of my couples have no idea about it other than liking the photos from it … but Joe is all about it.)

Guastivino’s Wedding: Julia and Dean

I said that Danielle and Spencer’s wedding was the wildest one I’d ever been to. But what I love about NYC is that you don’t need to go around the world to find splendor and beauty, craziness and fun, when I can walk down the street to venues like Guastivino’s, the fantastic setting of Julia and Dean’s wedding. And I love that there are people like Julia, Dean, and their friends walking around this city, being all respectable and proper Manhattanites … and then, when it comes down to it, oh man, can they dance.

I had a fantastic time with Julia and Dean throughout the whole process, from the engagement shoot where he surprise-re-proposed to her (so he could “do it right” that time) to just chilling and laughing with them in the limo. (What I don’t love about NYC is that it can turn a one-mile trip to the reception into a 45-minute journey.)

It was a gorgeous and stylish day throughout, from the beginnings at the W New York Union Square to their impeccable eye for detail and jewelry (Dean is in the biz). But nothing will stand out more than the all-pervading, ligament-stretching, constant fun they all had.

Thanks again to Valerie Sebestyen for assisting!

No Rain on Their Parade

Generally when it rains on an outdoor wedding and I say “it didn’t faze them for a minute,” it’s a figure of speech. Even couples with the broadest perspective will have a minute of “Oh man, we were going to have a gorgeous outdoor wedding and now we can’t … oh well, we’ll have fun anyway.”

But Beth and Dino literally didn’t stop smiling for a second. If there were any uneasy glances at the thundering sky, any sighs, I didn’t see them. All I saw was a fantastic, hilarious wedding, the sort of day where the officiant lifts his lines straight from The Princess Bride. Brilliant.

Lens: Nikon 28mm f/1.8G
Camera: Nikon D3s

The Sky Right Now

Not Photoshopped to heck; it actually looks like that. 23 images with a new lens I’m testing for B&H (the Tamron 24-70 VC).

You can buy a print of this here. For this I recommend a wide print like the 12×24″. The watermark will not be in the printed image.

Well, hello entire world. Nice to meet you. Here’s another one for people still looking. Single image:

(buy a print here)

NYC Yale Club Wedding: Nicole and Dave

It was an absolutely gorgeous day in midtown for Nicole and Dave’s Yale Club wedding — gorgeous enough that a marching band and gang of dancers got in on the action.

Nicole’s best friend and maid-of-honor Sharrone runs wedding videography studio Fiore Films, so she had some insider help on creating an absolutely gorgeous, elegant wedding. It was the sort of day where laughter flows into crying and back again, where hugs threaten to crack spines. The sort of day I love to document.

The reception was fantastic, largely due to the incredible performances of the Hudson Project wedding band. I can’t wait to cross their paths again.

Valerie Sebestyen was back shooting with me for this wedding, and for most of June. Always nice to bring that Oklahoma cheeriness to a Manhattan day.

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Bryant Park Grill wedding: Chika and Andrew

This feels like a long time coming. When I first photographed Chika and Andrew, they knew they were getting married … someday. In some hemisphere. But that was about it. You see, even though their ties to the U.S. and New York run deep, they currently happily live in Japan.

Sadly I didn’t travel to Japan, but they did one better and came to me. In fact they figured out their wedding based on my schedule — always the highest honor I can receive, much more meaningful than any award. And we had a gorgeous day at the Bryant Park Grill, deep in the frenetic energy of a midtown summer.

I figured from knowing them that this would be a fun day. I figured from meeting Chika’s friends that it would be a crazy dance floor. But I admit I was totally surprised that the true life of the party was Chika’s dad. That guy can tear it up.

It was a fantastic capstone on a long journey for me and a longer one for them … and hey, there’s always room for a Tokyo anniversary shoot.

The Air Up There

I’m returning from Boise now, where I shot an episode of the FRAMED show, and I can’t wait to see the finished product. So what does one of the busiest wedding photographers around do once he’s in a new town with a weekend off? Why not shoot a wedding? And then spend all the next day shooting for fun?

I do a lot of things to make sure that I keep the elemental joy of taking photos alive, to make sure that I never get to the point where clicking that shutter doesn’t sound like fun. So I shot a wedding and with my Boise-based friends Sara and Dylan of Sara K Byrne Photography, and had an absolute blast being around all the joy of a wedding day with none of the pressure. Also, it’s a lot easier to sweet talk local skater kids when the team includes someone who looks like this.

Lens: Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6
Camera: Nikon D3s

Banyan Tree Mayakoba destination wedding: Spencer and Danielle

I’m not saying that Spencer and Danielle’s Banyan Tree Mayakoba wedding in Playa del Carmen was wild. What I’m saying is that the same people introduced themselves to me on three separate days, because they’d forgotten we’d already met and had several long conversations.

Fun. Crazy. Awesome. Sweet. And, oh boy, endurance. This is what it’s all about. This is celebration.

These are the sorts of stories best told in photos. I’ll let you imagine the photos I’m not showing. Really all you need to know is that the last shot was taken during the reception.