Beatrice—Snow Baby

I reached out to Chris & Molly Manning when I saw Beatrice on Facebook. The gist of the conversation (“brand new” parents are instantly bombarded from all angles with all kinds of stuff, family, friends, People in Team Draft League that wanna take Photos of their baby… it’s a lot to deal with) was that when things settle down a touch, let’s get you some baby photos.

With the Holidays upon us, these kind of things are so often a hassle along with the other goings on of life. I like to make it easy for folks to have these photos done. Everyone wants to see your new baby, but it’s a lot of logistics of who is coming when and how folks across the country are going to see the baby. Having some photos early photos can take a lot of the pressure off.

I get to Chris & Molly’s apartment and Beatrice is asleep. Which is good that gives us a few minutes to chat and we talk games and stuff. (It’s as important to have a rapport with your subject’s new parents as it is with your tiny subject.) We settled in for some sleepy shots. Once B woke up she was a big fan of the windows. She opened her eyes up bright and did some great curious looking around. Finally, I had Chris & Molly pose for some family shots.

The whole thing took about 30 mins and was relatively unobtrusive. That’s the real key with newborn photos. Make it easy. Beatrice seemed to get it. A good nap with some snowmen for the first half of the shoot and some great big yawns and stares for the second half.

Jen, Ken and the Boys—Christmas Card shoot

Jen and I went to high school together. I haven’t seen her since Tracey Rivell’s Wedding. She reached out to ask if I could do holiday photos for her family. Jack and Matt (the Boys) were super excited to participate! I was able to get a few family photos and some great action shots of the boys once they warmed up to me. It helped that we all had a common love: NINJA TURTLES! Matt likes Donatello and Jack likes Michelangelo (my personal fav as well). Once we got down to the really important topics of our day: Monster Trucks and Ninja Turtles, they were more than ready for photos. I’m super impressed by how they came out!

Jerrra Blues—In the City

Jerrra and I decided we wanted something with a city in the fall feel to it. I invited her to my home studio where we shot on the roof. And then took a ride over to the Train where we got some more gritty city style photos. Jerrra has a really cool look. It’s very Eastern Bloc meats 1970’s NYC. Her eyes were super bright and really came out with her tattoos. We opted for a spunky style for this set. What do you think?

Moe—Test in the Street

Moe and I decided we wanted to do a Fall inspired shoot. This is the first shoot I set up on Pintrest! We took a more casual approach to this shoot! Just a couple of wardrobe changes and a few location shoots. Moe was awesome, totally ready to assume the role! I was most excited about the shots under the J train! I can’t wait to shoot with her again soon!

Kat—A Maternity Shoot

Yesterday I had an awesome photo session with Kat! She’s 8 months pregnant, and pretty excited about it. We took a quick stroll through central park for some photo ops. The greenery really popped out her dress well. Kat had a lot of panache in front of the camera, and chose most of her own posing. I’m super happy with how these came out!

Thinking about maternity photos or new born photos? Time slips by so fast, before you know it you’re spending them off to college. Take a moment and reach out to me about your next shoot!

Why You Want to Shell out for the Second Shooter

What do all of these photos have in common? Either I shot them as a 2nd Shooter or they were taken by one I hired to work with me for the day.

Often when I’m talking to brides and grooms about budget, they ask about whether they really need a second shooter. My answer is almost always an emphatic “YES!”

It does seem like a silly thing though. Why do you need a 2nd person there to take pics of the exact same thing? I mean I totally understand, wedding planning is a study in where you can save a few bucks to spend on something else, or maybe just put toward your future. I’m behind the save money plan, believe me, but this is one area you should actually splurge a little.

The Houdini Rule!

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I’m pretty great. But, I’m not gonna lie, I’m not able to be in two places at once. If you’re getting ready at one spot and your groom is at his hotel/parents’/yacht, it’s going to be impossible for me to get the both of you getting ready. These are the last few hours of single life. You can bet there’s gonna be some memories/rituals that you’re both going to want to look back on. Also, if the area is nice enough, we can bust out some of those posed photos of the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen so you have more time for Cocktail hour!

Candids! Candids! Candids!

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I firmly believe that the best photographs come from those unguarded moments when you are not aware that you’re having pictures taken of you. I’m a photojournalist by trade. I like to get real moments. Sometimes that means that while you may be paying attention to me setting you up for family pictures, my second is getting candid photos of your uncle and brother and father chatting off to the side. Having a 2nd means getting those sweet moments that don’t directly include you and the groom. I’m all over photos with you two all day, be assured, very little slips passed my lens, but a 2nd fills in those gaps.

It’s all in the Details! 

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I’m a big picture guy myself. I like to get people moments. That’s who I am. Photojournalism is about people. When I get to bring along a 2nd I try to make sure they are ready to get the details (cake, centerpiece, silverware, RINGS) while she/he is getting the little stuff, I’m free to get the sweeping moments. There’s a lot happening and a lot to take in. Having a 2nd means you’re going to have a more complete vision of your day.

Were Gonna need Back-up!

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Ok need is probably a little strong, but it’s nice to have those 2nd angles sometimes. Often there’s something about another person’s eye that just sees the moment in a different way. That can be magical. One thing I learned as a 2nd Shooter when I started in the industry was to be aware of the other person shooting and try to get something different than they where. We’re all telling a story, and the same story might look different through another person’s lens.

5 Things to Tell Your Vendor When Looking for a Price

As a vendor we all get the generic “I’d like to hear more about your prices and services!” one line email from The Knot and WeddingWire brides. Shame on both of those services for letting you send out that email! There’s so much more we as vendors need to know.

Imagine you’re hungry, it’s the same dilemma. What are you hungry for? Are you thinking of eating in? Steak or a Hamburger. You get me, there’s a lot to think about. You can’t just walk into a restaurant and say, “Food please, How much?” I mean you can, it’s gonna be a weird few minutes. These things (wedding photography/meals in restaurants) work better if you have an idea of what you want.

Now, listen, I’m not here to make fun of you or berate you for know having a plan. Planning a wedding is a ton of work, and it’s a lot of research in areas you really never needed to know much about before this. That’s why I made this handy Top 5 List for you. Let’s do it!

1. When is your date?

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No piece of information is more important. Are you aiming for a Friday? or Saturday. What about Sunday-Thursday. I give weekday weddings a better price than my weekend weddings. Some photographers price differently in the spring/summer than Fall/winter. AND If we’re already booked… We might be able to refer you to a colleague that has a similar style.

2. What is your Budget like?

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It seems crazy, right? Just telling me what you are looking to spend and I can tailor a package to your needs… who does that? A dedicated service professional thats who. Nothing is worse in my business than getting back that “You are waaaay too expensive.” email. Or worse yet, nothing… no feedback at all. If we can both be honest about what we can offer, I promise I can figure out a package that suits your budget.

3. How many locations will you need me for?

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It’s easy to forget that I can’t be everywhere at once. You need me to shoot your groom getting ready at his house, and you want me to get you and your bridesmaids at the hotel having make-up done. That’s going to take 2 people. Then we ride over to the Church get the ceremony, then we go to the Reception Hall. That’s 4 locations, and it’ll need 2 photographers.

That’s a lot different than having the whole thing in your folks house. With the Groom getting ready in your kid brother’s room and you in the Kitchen, the whole ceremony taking place in the backyard… well that makes things a little easier. You still might want a second shooter in this case too, though.

4. Have you had your engagement photos done yet?

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No? AWESOME. I do them for free when you book with me. Many photographers do as well. Or offer similar value. This is great for you, because it’s a great chance to get to know your photographer. Come the big day, we’ll both feel a lot more comfy around each other. For me it means I have something new to share on my blog. Everyone wins!

5. Where will you be getting married.

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Seems simple right? Most brides forget to mention it. Are you staying in town or flying to Thailand? I’m going to have to adjust my price if it’s halfway across the world. I try to keep my prices the same until I cross 2 state lines. Then I need to worry about places for me and my team to stay. Be sure I’ll be more than happy to travel with you around the world (I have my passport), but you’ll likely need to foot the bill for travel and lodging.

Just 5 simple bits of info. All that info changes so much in regardless to what many vendors charge. And with a little work you can expect to see more responses faster from prospective vendors too! That’s going to make things so much easier as the big day sneaks up on you! I promise.

Kate—Sunset in Brooklyn Bridge Park

On Wednesday, I met with my new friend Kate to do a test shoot at Brooklyn Bridge Park. We met around 4 and walked over to the waterfront. Kate was pretty brazen! A bit of mild trespassing (her idea not mine) and some fun play with silhouettes where highlights of the shots. She had a ton of personality and really worked the camera, not to mention zero fear! I can’t wait to work with her again.

5 Wedding Day Tricks for Better Photos

Brides often ask me if there is anything they should know to get better photos on their wedding day. My response is normally so long and filled with so many ideas that their eyes start to glaze over. So I figured I’d choose the best 5 (because I love a top 5 list) and share them. Feel free to bookmark this page for later use, it’s one you’ll come back to again and again on your day!

Set up an Engagement Shoot

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Practice makes perfect! Many brides have never dealt with a photographer before in their lives. Having a little practice in front of the lens can really help prep you for the day! I offer my brides a free engagement shoot when they book me! It helps me get familiar with my couple and helps them relax around me. The same goes for most grooms. What I’m getting at is that people just don’t get someone to take their photo for them enough. I remember my mom used you carry around this polaroid that she’d hand off to every damn stranger for family photos. Now that we all have cameras on our phones we have forgotten what it’s like to have another person take our picture. Get used to that, It’ll happen several thousand times on your day!

Forget about being Perfect

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We’re not perfect. And thats really a good thing. Hair is gonna blow around, flowers are going to be dropped, drinks will spill. It’s not your job to worry about that stuff. In fact, it’s your job to not worry about that stuff… FOR ONE WHOLE DAY. He didn’t fall in love with you because you were perfect, it was because you were perfect for him. Enjoy yourself, and stop worrying about EVERYTHING. I promise someone’s on it! Your pictures are gonna look so much better if you’re carefree.

Make a Playlist (Man, I wanted to say MIXTAPE so bad here)

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I know I feel like strutting my stuff when I have Thin Lizzy, or the Rolling Stones bouncing around in my head. Maybe you’re more of a Kanye or Katy Perry fan. Take my advice, make a few playlists for down time and share them with your bridesmaids. If everyone has them on their phones no one is running around looking for a charger at the end of the night like Gullom from Lord of the Rings. You’re all rocking out during your getting ready rituals/limo time and I’m getting great photos of you singing into a hairbrush!

Strike the Hip and Pose!

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Ok now for the real practical advice! Show some attitude. You are the star today! Take it, Rock it. This is the one time in your life that being shy is a no no. If you think it will make a good photo, make it happen! I won’t say no. SUPER SECRET: NO ONE WILL TELL YOU NO! I’m easy to work with like that. Short of getting you dirty/ruining your dress/make-up before the ceremony I’m up for anything.

Laugh!

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Seriously, don’t forget to laugh. The whole day is gonna be a little stressful, I know, but take a second and just think about how wild it is that you’re here. This is the finish line. Ever see anyone not laughing at the finish line? Too much great stuff is happening to not laugh. I bet if you laugh it’s gonna make him laugh too. It’s good for the soul and its great for pictures. Don’t forget!

That’s the best 5 I can think of! Sorry I don’t have some cool pneumonic device for this.  EPPPL haha That doesn’t really off the tongue. Anyhow, If you’re thinking you might like to just get some practice in I’m booking engagement sessions right now! Hit me up and we’ll get something neat going!

5 Bride Tips for Great Pictures

Getting Ready

1. Make sure you have plenty of room for your photographer.

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Getting ready at home is a great idea! Using your largest room in the house is normally best. Make sure there’s plenty of natural light. Not only does this help your make-up artist apply your look, it also gives me plenty of angles to work with for your shots. Having the room to find those angles is clutch!

2. Have an excellent spot for your dress.

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Which so much going on, this is one so many brides over look. If you can have somewhere nice to hang your dress for photos before you put it on, that’s going to make a really special memory for later. Try finding some way to hang it independently of walls near a window so the light can show off the details!

During the Ceremony

3. Hold that kiss!

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This is it! THE KISS. It’s a pretty important one. Don’t rush it! Once it’s finished look right at your groom and smile. (Don’t worry it’ll be impossible not to!) As you leave the altar make it last. The light changes when I shoot close I’ll need a couple of shots to adjust. Remember: this is your moment, we are on your schedule. Make it last.

After the Ceremony

4. Think of a place before hand that we (You, your Groom and I) can be together for photos.

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You’ll have plenty of time for Cocktail Hour, I promise it will be worth it. This it the time when I usually get my best photos. You are both glowing because all the hard stuff is over and now you can party! It you make time for this you won’t regret missing some shrimp and pastry cover baby hot dogs.

During the Reception

5. GET ON THAT DANCE FLOOR!

 

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Definitely make your rounds, say hi to you aunts and uncles, cool down with your folks for a second. BUT YOU GOTTA GET THE PARTY GOING! No one will dare step out out onto that dance floor unless you do it first. Once you get it going, float around! Your guests will keep the party going if you need a break

Bonus: Comfy Shoes for Dancing! 

You’ll thank me later!

If you’re thinking about having amazing pictures from your wedding day, then why not start the process by contacting me!

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The Brooklyn Wedding Photographer