Photo of the Day: Cha-cha-cha-Chess Face

Keep working on that gambit, kid.

I figured some of y’all would want to see an image from the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G, so here you go. It does show one of the relative strengths over the older version, which is maintaining contrast in backlit situations.

Wedding: Colleen and Steve in Green Pond, NJ

I love it when a couple works together to make the wedding an expression of themselves, and few anywhere have done that better than Colleen and Steve. Of course, it didn’t hurt to have a family camp available as a setting, since it made the day both pastoral and intimate, a place where the couple and many of the guests had already whiled many days away on the lake. Steve’s father completely restored a 1948 Chris-Craft boat just for the wedding, dutifully earning the captain’s hat they gave him as a gift. Every aspect of the day was a heartfelt, playful delight, from Colleen’s polka-dotted wedding dress, to the men’s boutonnieres labeled with descriptions like “Groom” and “Sinner,” to, most importantly, the couple themselves.

All you need to know about the feeling of this wedding is that the couple and the guests couldn’t even wait for the reception to be over to strip out of their clothes and don swimsuits, with everyone, even some of the parents, diving into the waters of Green Pond for an immediate afterparty.

It was too epic a story to tell with words. So I took pictures.

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Photo of the Day: The End of the Beginning

The End of the Beginning

I’m skipping to the end of an epic story.

This isn’t from an engagement shoot. This is from a wedding day.

What kind of wedding could lead to this? Stay tuned…

Workshop update!

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We still have some slots open for the October 12-13 workshop, given that I haven’t made the formal, full announcement yet. But I’ve been working on the syllabus like crazy in-between my even crazier shooting schedule, and I’m ridiculously excited.

You can read reviews of some previous workshops here. What makes this one different is that it is focused entirely on professional wedding photography, while my previous workshops were more generalized. Not only will we be working through location shoots, solving the sorts of problems we constantly deal with on wedding days, from bad backgrounds to bad light to lack of time, but there will also be an extended session on the business of running a photography business, with a focus on client relations. Most “bridezillas” are really just people with understandable concerns about a stressful time, and I’ve learned a lot of tricks along the way about how to make people as relaxed as possible.

Or, in other words, my photography business is booming so much I don’t even have the time to make a proper workshop flyer.

The best part? Even though the workshop is based in the swanky Garment District, it’s one of the few things left in Manhattan that are affordable. Registration is $500 before Sept. 15, and $600 thereafter (if any spots are still open). Register at ryanbrenizerworkshops@gmail.com

I also am giving a $35 talk on flash composites at Adorama on Oct. 11, and if you sign up for both, the Adorama talk will be reimbursed!

Wedding: Jennifer and Richard at Mulan

It was a scorching day in the hottest New York City July in history, but that didn’t slow down Jennifer and Richard one bit. The entire wedding party seemed up to run around and try new things, 98 degrees in tuxes or not.

The day was a mixture of their devout Christianity and Chinese heritage, with a heartfelt church ceremony followed by a full banquet in Flushing. I always love Chinese banquets — yes, because of the food, but also because of the focus on family and the connections between the bride and groom and the people who got them to where they are today. And the food.

Congratulations, Richard and Jennifer!

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Engagement: Chika and Andrew

I don’t generally have time to publish engagement shoots during the busy season … which, these days, seems like about 11 1/2 months of the year … but when someone comes all the way from Tokyo for the shoot, I’ll make an exception! Chika and Andrew met in Tokyo, and currently are having a very long-distance relationship while they plan the wedding, so I knew they’d have a great time at the shoot. Chika wanted to show her relatives back home some New York City landmarks (the real kind … taxi, subways, hot dogs) while in a beautiful kimono, and then they both changed into (very stylish) western clothes. It was a gorgeous afternoon, and I hope to see them again as they plan the wedding!

Boudoir: Ray of Light

I wanted to use a somewhat hard light source with a noir feeling for this shoot with Wendy, to show the balance of her femininity and strength. This is just a barely cracked door with a light source behind it — f/1.2, 1/10th, ISO 5000 does the rest.

A slightly more risqué one behind the cut. So if you followed the direct link but can’t see a fully (but sexily) clothed woman … um … don’t scroll down.

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Wedding: Lindsay and George at the Hershey Hotel

I have always been a chocoholic, so I was very excited to shoot Lindsay and George’s wedding at the Hershey Hotel. And it’s true that the streets in Hershey, PA are paved with chocolate. Or at least they’re colored brown.

Lindsay and George are new transplants to the area, and we’d already had a great time with them and their dog in a NYC engagement shoot, so I expected a low-key, fun, beautiful day — and that’s exactly what I got. The ceremony was in a gorgeous stone alcove, making for a long and dramatic processional. They’d selected the officiant in part for his lively personality, and he delivered in spades with a ceremony that was in turns touching and hilarious: You can see in the photos below Lindsay reacting to his emphasis on “until DEATH!” in the vows.

The ceremony and reception paid homage to Greek heritage, from dual crowns to a slow folk dance that builds to a huge crescendo.

And yeah, there was kind of a nice sunset. You’ll see.

Congratulations!

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Photo of the Day: Under the Wedding

Under the Wedding

Charity, Adam and I snuck out of the reception for a minute to get some photos while their friends chatted above.

Luckily my clients trust me. “So … we’re using the light of a vending machine? Haha, OK…”

Wedding: Heather and Jordan at the Ritz Carlton

What better way to spend Independence Day than with Heather and Jordan at their Ritz Carlton Battery Park wedding? You may recall that we’d already had lots of fun together, with an engagement shoot stumbled across by Dave Chappelle. The day was extremely hot and windy — the moment Heather stepped outside her gorgeous cathedral veil almost went flying off the edge of the building — but they couldn’t have been having a better time. They were so excited that every time they saw each other in key moments, from the first look to the ceremony and kiss, cake cutting, anything, they would just keep bursting out in gales of laughter.

Of course a wedding at the Ritz was classy and gorgeous, with a fantastic cake that marked the day in another way, looking like fireworks exploding over the city. We never did see the fireworks display, which was on the other side of the city, but they had plenty of their own. Congratulations!

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