Tag Archives: engagement

Vintage engagement shoot at June Wine Bar: Michelle and Matthew

There’s vintage, and then there’s Michelle and Matthew. A lot of people dress up in vintage clothing for shoots, simply because it’s fun and looks great. But when Michelle met Matthew, she was impressed by how he looked in the 1920s strongman-style swimsuit he was wearing. She runs a blog called My Vintage Love, so a good part of their central identity looks back about 100 years.

So when Tatiana Breslow and I thought through their engagement shoot for them, we centered around some bars with beautiful interior woodwork to play off their look. The Campbell Apartments are in Grand Central, so they have to be very careful about how much photography they let in — even with prior approval, we were allowed to shoot with our dSLRs for exactly 90 seconds. One of the photos below was taken with an iPhone 6+, and I wasn’t doing it just to be showy — it was all we were allowed to use!

In contrast, June Wine bar in my studio’s Brooklyn neighborhood was so nice and amazingly accommodating that it almost freaked us out. “Why are you so nice? You know this is New York, right?”

Advantage, Brooklyn.

It is such a great thrill to work alongside Tatiana, and to see how our businesses and lives will improve as we merge in the coming year, and the thrill doubles when we work with a great couple. This shouldn’t be the last you see of Michelle and Matthew.


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Christina and Brian’s Trash the CAKE session

Sometimes fate knocks on your door … and sometimes it brings cake.

I’d met the incredible cake-maker Hope from A Little Imagination Cakes at a Grace Ormonde event and I started thinking: Hey, your cakes are incredible. Why don’t we destroy one? Wouldn’t it be great to get a bride and groom just going nuts with it? Man, who could we find for that?

A couple days later, I get an e-mail from Christina. She wants to do a Trash the Dress session … but she really wants to trash it. No “just wading into a puddle and getting it a little wet.” She has a Vera Wang gown, and she wants it to go out in style.

Boom.

Christina and Brian had a comic book-themed wedding, and Hope went all out to make an awesome DC-hero themed cake for them — AND recreated their fantastic save-the-date on layers of the cake itself. All this for something we were about to smash to tiny bits. That’s love of craft.

And smash we did.

This was an awesome day. Thank you Hope, thank you Christina and Brian, and thank you Dave Paek for great assistance.


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Engagement: Karen and Kamil

Here is another case of “We just did the engagement shoot, and I’d better get the images out because the wedding is tomorrow!” It does have a certain efficiency to it.

Karen and Kamil have flown me out to California to document their Malibu wedding, and if I thought I was excited before, I’ve reached Ludicrous Excitement after how much fun our engagement shoot was at their alma mater, Harvey Mudd College.

Have you ever seen Real Genius? If not, go rent it. It’s one of the best movies of all time. If you have, though, you remember a scene with a dorm literally bursting with anarchic, geeky energy in every corner. A place like this could only exist in the movies, right?

Wrong. West Dorm, where both Karen and Kamil spent all four years, surpasses every stereotype of every college movie I’ve ever seen. There are pirate flags, and bonfires, and motorcycles, and shopping carts with Pabst Blue Ribbon cup holders. It is college at its most primal, both revelled in and enjoyed ironically.

For the first time, I actually can’t show some of my favorite images from the shoot, because so much of the West decor is Not Safe for Work.

So when I tell couples to find places that have meaning for them, and not just the prettiest possible place, I mean it.











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Engagement: Emily and Myles

I just shot these photos yesterday, and I knew I wanted to get some samples out right away, partly because I’ve been excited to shoot this awesome couple since I met them at Stephanie and Wade’s wedding, partly because the geek in me was excited to test my rental copy of the new 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII, and partially because I’m shooting their wedding tomorrow!

Yes, as I tell couples, any time between 18 months and 18 hours before the wedding can work for engagement shoot, and since Myles, a coach for the Edmonton Oilers, had been spending this past year working up there, we decided to play in the cold-but-not-Siberian-cold environment of New York in February. And we had a wonderful time. If anyone wants tips on how to make sure they can bring out passion in front of a camera, try spending most of the previous year away from your fiancée in a place with cold spells almost eighty degrees below zero.

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Photo of the Day: Office Space Rock Stars

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I’ll have a full write-up of my workshop later today, but here’s a teaser image from it. One of my mantras that I shared with the group is to keep pushing yourself until there is a decent possibility you might fail — if all of your shots are pretty good, you’re not expanding yourself. (Of course, this has to be at times where you are safe to fail on a few frames. The first kiss is probably not the best place for it).

So I let the group watch as I decided to give myself a challenge: I would find the most boring, ugly place around and take photos right there. So I found a featureless office hallway with the ugliest green fluorescent lighting you’ve ever seen. The only thing it had going for it was the natural perspective of a hallway. So I took my awesome couple and sat them down, so that we could see that perspective better, and I lit them with a very warm, tungsten video light. With white balance correction, that turned the ambient from a horrible puke-green to a kind of funky and cool deep turquoise, a nice contrast to her red shirt, and of course this is kind of a funky couple.


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Timoria and Bob engagement session

I knew that Timoria, a fantastic make-up artist, was going to come prepared for this engagement session, but I had no idea how prepared! Not only did they have multiple changes of clothing, but they had it planned out how they could safely shift from one to the other in public. We wanted to create a New York story for them, so we started at the Battery Gardens, where they will be getting married, to Times Square.

I am not sure if it’s possible to have more fun on an engagement session than we had.


It had to be done


Timoria practices her craft


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