Tag Archives: nyc wedding photographer

Midtown Loft and Terrace Wedding: Patrick and Lisa

How do you know a couple is really serious about this whole “together forever” thing? Three words: wedding ring tattoos.

If nothing else about Lisa and Patrick’s wedding was extraordinary, it would still have been one of my favorite quick stops in 450 or so weddings. Their gorgeous style presented an incredible juxtaposition against the calculatedly rough interior of the tattoo shop, but it was their sweet expressions during the process that got me. This is more than ink, this is the mark of a new life.

Then you add the hundreds of other touches that they put in to make sure that this wedding stood out: A 007 theme complete with ice luge and baccarat table (along with someone to explain to uncultured louts like myself how to play baccarat); wedding vows delivered by drone (which amazingly did not end in disaster, despite the rooftop ceremony); cake cut with a samurai sword, complete with lessons about how to draw a katana while wearing a tuxedo, and on and on. Tatiana Breslow and I had an absolute ball with this day and are so happy we can share it with you.


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Battery Gardens Wedding: Michelle and Michael

One of the things that makes being a wedding photographer feel special is that I so often get to go out and document the formation of a new family. Who knows the trials and strength and joy that lie ahead, but I get to capture the moment when it all coalesces in one giant celebration. This was doubly so with Michelle and Michael, who were not only celebrating their marriage, but their new role as soon-to-be parents. And it was a celebration — at the start of the day, neither of them new the sex their baby would be, but one person did know — the cake-baker. They sent the hospital notice unopened to the baker, who would make the frosting inside blue if it was a boy, and pink if it was a girl. I’ve seen more than 400 cake-cuttings in my time, but none were as meaningful as this one.

Which one was it? Look below and you’ll find out…

Thanks to the awesome Jashim Jalal for second-shooting!


































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Foundry Wedding: Annie and Bill

I love a good party, and it seems like weddings at The Foundry are always fantastic parties. There must be some sort of neural connection between the preferences that make people love the dark brick and ironwork of the space and of a propensity to do the chicken wing on the dance floor. I don’t have to tell you that Annie and Bill were extremely fun; you’ll see that below. But they were also laid-back in a way that we forget New Yorkers can be, focused on just a great time with each other and their loved ones. In fact, family was so close that Bill’s sister served as Best Woman, complete with a tux just for the ceremony. Whether it was searching for the right-fitting female tux, a giant pile of cheese instead of wedding cake, or the beautiful hanging lights, they made sure that this day was their own, and I was happy to record it. Thanks to the fantastic Dave Paek for doing another great job as assistant.


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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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A True Sunday

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Yelena and Ben really picked the right day of this weekend to get married. After the record-breaking snow on Saturday, this is what we had yesterday — a gorgeous wedding at Guastivino’s in Manhattan.

I had to fight every urge to not just stay up all night and post this whole wedding today. Finally I remembered that I felt the same way about all the other weddings I’ve photographed recently. It’s telling in a lot of ways that I’m headed to Aruba on Wednesday and I’m excited to look through and edit the great weddings that I’ve had happen in front of my lens in recent weeks.

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


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Central Park Boathouse Wedding: Leonor and Ben

A fun, extremely nice couple? Great weather? The Central Park Boathouse? If it sounds like a nice day, wait until you get to the part with the crazy dance floor, the free-flowing tears and deep family connections, the gorgeous styling, and their obvious passion for each other.

We began the day in my old stomping grounds near Columbia University, and from there everything was in Central Park. There is so much less possible stress on a wedding day when you can simply walk from the ceremony to gorgeous locations and back again, and that allowed them a day laser-focused on just having a great time with their friends and family. Perfect.

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Claire and Johnny’s Central Park Conservatory Garden Wedding

Well this is a first — I’m blogging Claire and Johnny’s wedding during their wedding.

No, I haven’t revolutionized efficiency. Claire and Johnny are celebrating their love tonight with friends and family in Scotland, but beforehand they travelled to New York City to get married in an intimate, beautiful day — with nine people! It’s been a long time since I spent a full day at a wedding with fewer than 10 guests, and while I love the energy of large weddings, there is something really special about being able to get to know every person there.

After a ceremony at the Central Park Conservatory Garden, they finished the day with a yacht ride around southern Manhattan, and we couldn’t have had a better day for it. It felt like a great day among friends more than work — possibly because everyone, including the bride, kept taking pictures as well! On a night like this, who can blame them.

Congratulations, Claire and John — I hope you’re having the time of your lives right now.

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Cindy and Sharvin’s Studio 450 wedding

It takes a brave and cheerful couple to brave Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square on Fleet Week. Luckily Cindy and Sharvin had both qualities to spare. They’re the sort of people who are so nice that they make you nicer simply by standing around them — which is exactly what midtown Manhattan needs. They added their own touch to the Studio 450 loft space with elements both classic and personal, including home-cooked desserts from family recipes. And clearly their great attitudes paid off karmically, since they win the door prize for being my first couple with an outdoor ceremony this year where it didn’t rain! Nothing like a rooftop ceremony that looks out over such iconic New York structures as the Empire State Building, the New Yorker, and (if you look carefully) Ryan Brenizer Photography studios.

Congratulations!

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Osama is Dead; Photos from a historic party at Ground Zero

On a gorgeous September day almost ten years ago, I had just started my morning as the editor-in-chief of an upstate newspaper when one of my reporters told me a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Five minutes later, he told me about the second one, and I knew everything was about to change. Every impulse in me in a reporter told me to drive the 300 miles and be in the thick of it, but I had to manage everything, including an afternoon edition, so I sent out someone else.

Now, I finally strapped on a camera and headed for Ground Zero, but I was met with a site of raucous celebration, not despair. Osama is dead; we even have the body so there won’t be Osama sighting for the next 50 years, and New Yorkers were in the mood to celebrate. Given that it was 1 a.m., most of the ones really ready to celebrate in public were the college kids who were ready to go anyway, which ensured the atmosphere would be of revelry, not contemplation, though we were among the graves of Osama victims.

But if any city is ready for an impromptu rally at 1 a.m., it’s this one. And I’m glad to call it my home.

UPDATE: I wasn’t there to do video, but here’s a quick one I took to just get a sense of the crowd. Also, my friends at B&H Photo asked how I did this technically, given that it was 1 a.m. under low and very tricky lighting. Images have very little editing as befits photojournalism, but I knew I’d have to capture action in near-darkness, so I brought my “night vision” set-up: Two Nikon D3s‘s with the Nikon 24mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4, and Sigma 85mm f/1.4. Under sodium-vapor streetlights, white balance gets truly wacky, so I used Nikon Capture NX2 to process, as it has the best white balance control of any program I’ve used.

Otherwise, the main skills were things I learned in years as a newspaper photographer, such as how to politely elbow your way through a surging crowd and get where the action is.

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Students, including a girl on her 21st birthday, use street poles to show their patriotism.

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Revelers spray champagne onto the crowds below

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After spraying the crowd, he enjoys some of the champagne for himself

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Who knew New Yorkers had so many spare flags?

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And the crowd goes wild for the cameras

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A woman walks past a one-man candlelight vigil

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Nothing says pride like face paint

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The crowd chants for peace

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Marching past the 9/11 memorial

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Scaling Mount Patriotism…

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“Lady, do NOT go up there! You are wearing a DRESS!”

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City worker takes it in…

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Moments like these are more important than car hoods

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The only time I have ever seen a New Yorker happy to be stuck in traffic.

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The sign of the night…

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Let your colonial flag fly…

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Tossed toilet paper hangs above as the crowd surges

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Texting in the USA…

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I can’t get enough of these guys.

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Carried above the crowd

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Vigilant.

UPDATE: There’s a lot going on in the comments, some of it I find quite distasteful. Here’s my view as someone who was there, in it if not of it:

I would prefer Osama have come quietly, but, he didn’t. I don’t really trust these events to be related truthfully given the value of propaganda, but the whole “firing back and using a wife as a human shield” thing, if true, makes me pretty comfortable with their decision to fire back.

One thing I was VERY proud of. Nowhere in all of the NYC revelry that I saw in person or on the news was there the scarcest bit of anti-Muslim sentiment. A guy with an “I’m a Muslim, don’t panic” t-shirt was cheered everywhere he went. No one denigrated or desecrated Islam except for OBL himself. (Online and in some other parts of the country, yes, but that’s not what these celebrations were about)

What’s hard to understand if you weren’t there is that there’s a very simple reason for the atmosphere … it was 1 a.m. These were 90 percent college kids who decided to hook a left instead of heading to the bars. No hatred, no burning people in effigy, just good news meaning an excuse to hang from a light pole on a day where the cops would cheer you on for doing so. Does it really make sense to set a car on fire because your team won a basketball game? Sure, if you listen to your id.

I didn’t think it was the tone I would have wanted, but the more I see people give high-handed criticism of a bunch of people gathering in the streets just to sing songs and share a sense of glad togetherness, the more protective I feel.

I mean, dude. I saw a hippie go up to a military offer and say “Do you mind if I just … give you a hug?” And they hugged. I saw police officers laughing gleefully at people committing (victimless) crimes, yelling “just don’t get hurt!” And 400 people cheering on a Muslim guy waving an American flag I saw New Yorkers not caring about a traffic jam. No hatred, but a sense that we did something right, something we said we’d do, and brought him to justice. (And if the raid went down the way they said, it seemed to have been handled justly).

The atmosphere was joyous and inclusive. When someone shouted “Hooray for the troops!” everyone cheered, then chanted “Bring them home!” The chant merged into “End the wars!” and someone responded with their own chant: “Don’t get greedy!” Everyone laughed. This is how it felt. While the wars aren’t funny, while death isn’t funny, and while the people here took their convictions seriously, even when they opposed each others’, you laugh when anything happens that relaxes your tension just a little bit. You put 1,000 people together who are happy about anything, and it becomes a party.

Do you think none of the celebrations would have happened if he’d come along quietly? If the announcement was “We’ve got him!”

I think there would be countless debates later about what to do with the guy, but I think there would have been just as many people in the streets, and if so, then they weren’t really there cheering for death, and sanctimoniousness must be tempered.

We did the conga when Hitler died, but we also went out into Times Square and kissed nurses when Hirohito … didn’t die.

Personally, I am cheering one of the most successful, precise military actions in history. It would have been easy, but terrible and a disaster, to just send in a Predator and destroy the place. We finally made a series of right, difficult decisions after a series of incredibly competent intelligence gathering. I mean … incredible effective government decisions? Incredibly competent intelligence agencies? And it all worked together to absolutely minimize any impact on civilians? That’s a stopped clock worth cheering.

In short, Americans aren’t particularly obsessed with death — we’re absolutely obsessed with WINNING. And in asymmetric warfare, the events of May 1, whether he had come quietly or not, is as close to a win as we can possibly come.


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