Did you know I also shoot families?  I mean that in the nicest way possible!  I am happy to share this family session I did in the fall with an old high school classmate of mine and her family.  We met up at the Watchung Reservation and soaked up the sun and yummy fall colors. Enjoy this preview!

I’m excited to share that this image earned me another Fearless Award!  Out of 10,000+ images, only 89 were chosen as award winners, so you can imagine (and do the math!) at how much this is a tremendous honor. Thank you to the Fearless Photographers organization and the dedicated judges from this round!  To see the rest of the award winners, click here.

About this image:  This was shot while I was second shooting for the uber talented (and very cute!) Todd Laffler. Their are many documents that need to be signed on a wedding day, and in this case the ketubah since it was a Jewish wedding.  One thing I have been learning and practicing is to keep shooting through the moments, especially after getting the “must have” or “safe” shot.  This was a split second where everyone must have gotten a little fidgety simultaneously… and snap! I guess so did I. 🙂

Holy crap this is a good one!!  Gina and Jon are two of a kind, and together they make one fantastic kick-ass couple.  I’m not going to write too much here, because I think their words below and the photos that tell their wedding story speak for themselves.  Enjoy!!

How they met: “All great love affairs start at 3AM in a bar right? Well ours did! We met in scenic Poughkeepsie, NY during Jon’s senior year at Marist College and Gina’s sophomore year. Legend has it that Jon’s dance moves were just too good that night and Gina didn’t stand a chance.Gina was actually looking for one of Jon’s friends and asked Jon where his buddy Ryan was. Jon said, “I don’t know where Ryan is, but I’m right here.” <— NICE

The proposal: “Gina and I took a trip to Iceland Memorial Day weekend 2015. The very first day of the trip we went on a pretty strenuous hike up to the site of the first Icelandic viking’s tomb, Hjörleifshaugur was the name of the dude. Pretty bad ass right?? Once I caught my breath and shimmy’ed the ring out of a crew sock, it was go time. We went with like 7 of our buddies from college so they were in on it. Best part was, when we got to the top of the mountain and I suggested we take a picture, Gina goes ‘ok, lets get this over with’. Then i dropped to a knee and popped the question. Our tour guide packed a couple bottles of champagne and it was epic.”

What’s next for you guys? “We’re most psyched about our honeymoon to Bali in late April. We both love to surf so it’s a dream destination for us. Other than that, we are heading to Mexico to surf. In between we will be living the west coast life in Santa Monica.”

Why did you choose your venue? “It’s funny, G and I wanted an outdoor, barn rustic type of place. Her parents wanted something a bit fancier. So we met in the middle and found The Stone House through a friend of ours who used to bartend there.”

Wedding day favorite moments: “First look, cruising in the VW, massive dance party with 180 of our closest friends, and a lot of tequila.”

Any advice for future couples planning their weddings? “Don’t take it too seriously. As long as the music is good, the food is decent, and the booze is flowing…everyone will have a good time.We have been having nothing but fun since we met in 2008 and our wedding day was no different. One thing I would say to other couples getting married is to take 3 times throughout their wedding day to just stop and take a look around and soak it in. Cheers!”

Meet Alicia & Alex! Their wedding was supposed to be a washout according to the weather guy, but thank the heavens (literally!) they were wrong again.  Terrain at Styers in Glen Mills, PA was the setting that day, and we all experienced a full range of emotions. From shy & quiet to sweet & sentimental, it all culminated in one of the best dance parties of the year!  When the dance floor got to be too small, this crew simply turned the speakers to the lawn and everyone danced their asses off outside under the stars.  Nice work, everyone!  As I like to do now, I am including their story, as told in their own words. Enjoy!

How they met: “We met at Amherst College in the beautiful Pioneer Valley. We lived in the same dorm freshmen year and took all the same classes. Junior year our best man pointed out that we had the same sense of humor and so Alex asked Alicia out on a date. Quickly it became clear that this was going to be a lasting relationship.”

The proposal: “We have been known to make videos of ourselves dancing to different pop songs and send them to friends inviting them to respond with a video of their own. Alex asked a group of our closest friends to film themselves dancing to Alicia’s then favorite pop song, Bruno Mars’ “Treasure”. He spliced the videos all together with everyone holding signs asking “will you marry me?” He surprised Alicia with the video late one night after she had worked an extra long shift as an intern. She came home exhausted, and I had already fallen asleep wearing my suit, but the smile on her face when I showed her the video made it all worth it. The following day her family came up to visit so we were able to celebrate with them, and we also made a “thank you” dance video of our own which was a blast.”

Why did you choose your venue? “Alicia found the venue Terrain online. I think it immediately caught her eye as having the right aesthetic as well as a low key and informal vibe that we were hoping for. It was also small and intimate and felt unique enough to match to our personalities.”

Wedding day favorite moments: The dancing turned out amazing. We definitely had high expectations which were exceeded thanks to our rowdy crew. They even decided to organically move the dance party outside under the cool fall stars for a beautiful finish to the evening.

Any advice for future couples planning their weddings? “Try to not stress over the little things, ask for help, and definitely recruit the input of your friends.”

It’s been months since I blogged a full wedding (yay for the busy season!) and I’m thrilled to start up again with the wedding of Lauren and Jeff. They married way back in early September at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in South Orange, New Jersey, followed by their reception at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston. I can honestly say it was a total pleasure working with them! When they are together, it’s pretty obvious how they bring out the best in each other. You know that phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”? That’s Lauren and Jeff. Here’s a little about them, from them:

The First Date: It was the spring of 2013, when Lauren was finishing her second year at UNC and Jeff was finishing his first year at Duke. Although their schools were heated rivals, they both decided to give each other the benefit of the doubt and agreed to a blind date. The risk paid off, with the pair finding instant chemistry.

The Proposal: After a couple years of dating, Jeff proposed at Lauren’s beloved alma mater, Wellesley. While he was proposing, a bystander yelled out: “Is this for real?” Also, the crew team was practicing during the proposal and they congratulated them afterwards. Lauren thought that was pretty cool.

Wedding day favorite moments: “President Jeff” photograph (before they entered the reception), entering on the balcony at the Crystal Plaza, the first dance, stealing glances at each other during the ceremony, when Jeff and Lauren first saw each other at church, how Jeff could not figure out Lauren’s corset, getting ready with their families, dancing, and when they had a few private moments together in the Rolls Royce Phantom on the way to the reception.

Any advice for future couples planning their weddings? Start early, breathe often, and don’t become too overwhelmed by Pinterest! Lauren also strongly recommends the bride delegate as much as possible to the groom and willing family and friends in order to make her life easier.

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Some of Lauren and Jeff’s other wedding vendors include:

Hair Artist – Debbie Tracy, Hair Unique

Makeup Artist – Donna Spinelli, Amazing Face NJ

Florist – Jillian McAlpine, Carousel of Flowers

Videographer – Ivan, Breathe Artistic Photo & Video

Cake Artist – Barry Ress, Crystal Plaza

Band – Kevin Osborne, Hank Lane Music and Productions

Transportation – Brian Wecksler, Broadway Elite

 

Alstede Farms is a beautiful and serene orchard up in Morris County, NJ. It’s one of those “pick your own” spots, and it’s the spot that Diana & Craig picked for their fall engagement session.  We were lucky to have one of those yummy and sunny autumn afternoons, and I was more than happy to create some yummy sunlit portraits for them. They also brought their pug Daisy, which of course makes me happy since I loved dogs as much as people. 🙂  Enjoy!

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I miss blogging!! I shot a ton of awesome weddings and engagement sessions since September, and they are keeping me pretty busy! Which I like. I can’t wait to blog these weddings, but until I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I will post some teasers.  And here ya go, in no particular order…

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