Tag Archives: new jersey wedding photography

Venetian Wedding: Erica and Dan Eric

Filipino weddings tend to be an incredibly vibrant mix of deep ceremonial meaning and broad family ties, with more people in the processionals than even attend many of the weddings I shoot. These both lead to a deep sort of community investment in the wedding … or in other words, people are ready to party.

How do you take this energy and turn it to 11? First, you invite a LOT of people, whom The Venetian does a great job at housing in style.. Second, you be twin vibrating bundles of energy like Erica and Dan Eric. A couple that taught everyone how to Dougie for their first dance, and who had her father do a mean Beyonce impersonation for the father/daughter dance. There is warmth and then there is Erica, who at a number of times throughout the day would stop whatever she was doing and give me a hug. “I’m so glad you’re here!”

I was glad too. Glad to be there with such amazing, crazy people. Glad to share the day seconded by the amazing Tatiana, who also got her share of hugs, and my intern Leah. And really, just glad to show you these photos.


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Merion Wedding: Amanda and Glenn

Normally I have to just tell you that a wedding rocked, and you have to just believe me. Did it really rock, or did it just look like fun for 1/250th of a second at a time?

You can trust me, but this time you don’t have to — I have proof. Chandeliers tell no lies, and Amanda and Glenn’s wedding rocked the Merion so hard the darned thing looked ready to come down.

Passionate, fun, and ready to tear the foundations off a building with merriment — these are my kind of people. Thanks to Dustin Finn for assisting the mayhem (and spotting the chandelier).


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Coming soon: Amanda and Glenn

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Just a reminder that, with all this talk of authenticity on the blog this week, I do still like a nice trick or two. And when you arrive in the chosen spot for wedding portraits and it’s pitch black, it’s nice to have a big back of tricks, literally and metaphorically. It took a flash composite AND a panorama to pull this one off.

Lens: 35mm f/1.4
Camera: Nikon D3s
Light: Lowel id-light


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Liberty House Wedding: Elizabeth and Anthony

Dateline: 11/11/11 11:11:11

Elizabeth had elements of this day planned in her fancy three-ring binder for quite some time — some of them, I’m willing to bet, before she met Anthony. I don’t know if it said “Be fabulous” in there, but some things are just a given.

It’s been quite a journey for them, from playing Guess Who over cups of tea in the cafeteria to a fabulous fall day in Central Park. Weddings, of course, are not without challenges, which is something that keeps them interesting. The gods of the New Jersey Bridges and Tunnels were not kind, leaving the choice of either having the ceremony without 90 percent of the guests or having it in the pitch dark in the only place in Manhattan without lights. But it doesn’t say “problem solver” on the left-hand side for nothing. Under a canopy at night is too much for even my D3s or my eyeballs to see, but luckily I always travel with video lights. I used the help of the videographers (Peter Ferriero and team) to set up light in the corners of the gazebo, about 90 seconds before the processional had to start. Not only was there no disaster — they got to enjoy a stunning twilight ceremony with the lights of Southern Manhattan twinkling in the distance.

There’s nothing I can say about the emotion of the day, about their connection, about the fun that was had — both theirs and mine — that the images don’t say better. But it was a pleasure and honor to be there and to have my friend and phenomenal photographer John Edgar there to capture the day with me. John basically owns Canada. I hope there will be some more international team-ups in the coming year, because this was an amazing experience.


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The Palace at Somerset Park Wedding: Yvonne and Clyde

This was the wedding that taught me how to Dougie.

In turns gorgeous, elegant, hilarious and wild, Yvonne and Clyde’s wedding at the Palace at Somerset Park had me smiling behind my camera all day. We started with a Catholic ceremony at the gorgeous St. Lucy’s in Newark (a city that keep surprising me). Unlike Erika and Chip, Yvonne and Clyde just missed Hurricane Irene. I’m not sure if anyone would have noticed if it tore the roof off, given how wild the dance floor was, lead by Clyde’s extremele energetic twin brothers.

Thanks to Zack Delaune for helping me with this — that’s his photo of the bride being hoisted on the dance floor, since it was spontaneous and I was shooting elsewhere. In addition to being a great photographer who’s attended my workshops, Zack is a FEMA professional. That’s right, when a hurricane threatens, only I will bring FEMA with me to make sure that everything goes OK.


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Looking Ahead

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Sometimes trying to zig where others zag isn’t enough, and I remind myself to zig where I would normally zag. It’s the best way to see things in new ways, or after taking hundreds of thousands of photos and looking at countless millions more, taking those that make me say the magic words: “Hey, I haven’t seen that before.”

Lens: 35mm f/1.4
Camera: Nikon D3s
Light: Sb-700 on a mini-stand.


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Stephanie and Joe’s Grounds For Sculpture Wedding

Clearly fate smiles on Stephanie and Joe — every wedding I’ve had so far this year have had outdoor ceremonies moved indoors by rain, cold, or blistering heat. And it did rain on their wedding day … 30 minutes after the ceremony. So they got all the luck of folk tales as well as a gorgeous outdoor wedding at the incredibly cool Grounds For Sculpture, a wide area where sculpture is integrated into not only wide park areas but also the surrounding town.

It also is apparently home to a family of some very tenacious peacocks, who I feel were the mascots of the wedding in sort of a “groundhog-from-Caddyshack” way.

Stephanie and Joe were awesome; the wedding was touching, fun, and crazy on the dance floor, just how I like it. Congratulations, you two.

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Tara and Ramin’s Hyatt Regency wedding

Sometimes the things that makes a wedding day special aren’t what you expect. We’d all suspected a fantastic outdoor ceremony at the Hyatt Regency, with its fantastic view of the New York Skyline, but the weather did not agree with those expectations. So why did I have such a hard time narrowing down this post, wincing at every image I adored just a little bit less? Primarily Tara and Ramin themselves — fun, smart, and incredibly kind, not to mention (for the time being) my neighbors. And Tara has the sense of natural grace that wedding dress designers picture in their cloudy thought bubbles as they make their designs. And then there’s that skyline.

But it all comes down to the emotions. A lot of hankies were used that day, and there were so many deep bouts of laughter, the kind you can’t help but share in. I could fill half a wedding album with just the varied emotions of Tara and Ramin as they listened to speeches from her father, the best man, and the maid-of-honor. Congratulations, you two.

(I’m bringing back slideshows for the public until I change my mind again; in this case I’ve started to think about which images are best in layout format and which are best standing alone in a slideshow, so for the completeists just a note that there are lots of pictures that are in one but not the other, in both directions)

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Jen and Scott’s Mayfair Farms wedding

I’ve already told you that Jen and Scott were fun and fashion-forward, but I’ve been itching to show you the full scope of their great wedding at Mayfair Farms. I want to tell this story solely through pictures because it’s a little different for me — with rare exception, as a rule every photo I post to my blog are ones that I took, because I don’t want to show potential couples images from someone who might not be at their wedding. But Sam Hurd traveled up from D.C. to shoot this wedding with Erica Camille and I, and there are a few pictures from both of them in the mix — because they rocked it, because the structure of the day and ceremony meant there were places I simply couldn’t be, and because with five different cameras it’s way too complicated for me to sort them out. I absolutely had a blast running this team, seeing certain moments from multiple angles like Matrix bullet-time.

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Kruti and Gaurav’s Mahwah Sheraton Wedding

Indian weddings are awesome in a quite literal way — the community celebration aspect, the thousands-of-years-old symbolism of each ceremonial action, the color, the energy — everything is over-the-top. I’ve become quite experienced with their nuances, but in the end saying “Indian wedding” like saying “American Wedding”: there are so many varied traditions that there are always surprises I look forward to. The ceremonial Coca-Cola? Kruti’s entire family trying to sneak grabs at Gaurav’s nose while his side kept it protected? All of this added another layer to the exciting elements I’ve come to know so well.

But it was the couple that made the day truly great. By the time I photographed the wedding, I’d already shot their engagement portraits, their engagement party, and Kruti’s pre-wedding ceremonies, so I felt I knew them and their families very well by the start of the wedding day, and it was an absolute pleasure throughout. It takes a solid group of friends and family to stage an entire, 20-minute-long parody of Family Feud during the reception. Not for one moment did a little April showers slow this wedding down, as you’ll see below:

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