There is so much to tell you about Sam and Andrew’s tiny courthouse wedding! I know that sounds strange, but really, Sam and Andrew put so much thought and love into their wedding plans, it’s hard to know where to begin even though everything took place in just a few short hours on Friday.

I guess I should start with my role in this surprise wedding. Back in July, Sam and Andrew booked me to photograph their wedding, slated for June of 2011. They have a beautiful, private, self-uniting ceremony plans in a forest not too far from where I grew up in Pennsylvania. Their parents plan to throw them an awesome backyard reception, and they tried as hard as they could not to be too sad at the fact that Sam and Andrew are planning, for all intents and purposes, to elope in that they will be taking their vows privately.

But.. their parents WERE sad at the thought of missing it, so Sam and Andrew began planning the legal ceremony as a special surprise. We decided that we’d tell their parents that they’d hired me to come shoot a family Christmas photo, and we’d all gather at the local library.

This was actually perfect, since both Sam and Andrew are self-identified geeks and bookish type peeps. (Their cats are named “Love” and “Library.”) Sam loves comic books, and her bouquet was made from D&D character sheets. We took some pictures and the remarkable Matt Odom shot a little video.

As their parents arrived, they saw Sam and Andrew and their sign that said, “Surprise! We’re getting Married TODAY.” I should have made a little sign of my own that said, “Please don’t blame the decoy.” Ha! Their parents’ reactions were absolutely priceless, and even I got teary as Sam’s dad wept when he realized he got to walk her down the aisle.

Truthfully, you couldn’t ask for a better reaction to a surprise like this. They were so completely surprised, happy and excited. I got to put my decoy hat on again and stall the happy couple, insisting on photos with their cats so the bride’s parents could acquire a cake. The groom’s parents arranged for a last-minute honeymoon suite at a nearby hotel.

Don’t even get me started on the way Andrew looked at Sam as she said her vows; the look on his face was so loving, so tender (it’s in the mix below, see for yourself.:)

Now, let me also tell you that Sam is a dreamer. When we set the plan over the summer for this amazing December surprise, Sam was like, “It will be so Christmas-y! And snow-y! Yay!” But being a Central PA girl myself, I instantly went into expectations management mode, knowing how touch and go PA winters can be. “Or it could be gray and gross!” I said. “Don’t get your hopes up too high for snow… okay? Please?”

That’s me, professional wedding photographer and party pooper at your service. But oh, did we ever have the most perfect, fluffy snowfall ever AND they agreed to lay down in the cold wet ground so I could get this snow angels shot. Above all else, I was so glad that everything went the way Sam and Andrew had dreamed. Keeping my fingers crossed for a bright blue sky and warm waterfalls for the spiritual union in June! Congrats, you guys!

Filled Under : Wedding

Okay, so… this blog entry features photos that are about as far away from what I posted yesterday as you can possibly get! (Dear job: I heart you.)

DonnaMarie and Ricky are newlyweds. DM is an actual rock star, in like, an actual metal band. So their wedding was a “heavy metal cabaret” in the bowery. For the record, I wasn’t there. They got married the same day as Saumya and Sandeep (if you account for the time change), although I would have LOVED to shoot their wedding.

You know what? Just go check out their wedding website. I can’t even begin to describe it. *whistling while you go check out their site* Uh huh! See? I know, right? Don’t you so wish you had been there? The afterparty alone would have been awesome: the fan dancer? the bellydancers? In short, it would have been a wedding shoot unlike any other. I only saw a few proofs, but heir photographer did a great job for them. I also saw a short segment of their wedding video-so great.

So I feel particularly lucky that they contacted me to do a trash the dress shoot, though I really feel like we need to call it a “rock the dress” shoot. DM is having her dressmaker repurpose her red wedding dress into a cocktail dress, so we were extra careful of the fabric down in the subway.

I feel like I should make very clear, also, that while the theme of this shoot could have more or less summed up as “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll: the fallout,” for the most part? This is all theater. Ricky is covered in stage blood. DM is famous for the fact that her makeup never runs, even after a 75-minute set, so that makes this shoot all the more ironic.

While the shot glass was one of their actual wedding favors, and Ricky did actually drink about half of the exploding drink in the third picture, no one was injured, maimed or hung over after our session, which took place on a Sunday evening in their colorful Forest Hills apartment and featured a lot of off-camera playing with their three adorable cats. So disappointingly vanilla compared to the pictures, no?

Okay, enough chatting. Without further ado… DM and Ricky’s Rock the Dress shoot.

Filled Under : Boudoir , Trash the Dress

I am exactly halfway through all of the Christmas, Hanukkah and winter portrait sessions I have scheduled this holiday season, and I am having a total blast. We’ve been capturing the standard pretty smiles by the tree, of course.

My subjects have been up for other stuff, too, and I just love them for it. I particularly likes my session with Nathaniel because it was actually snowing! Okay, it was just flurries, but that totally counts. The Weiss girls with their “magical” holiday pose- Harry Potter style- are after my own heart, and I just loved Bandit, an Australian sheepdog, and his frisbee move in our shoot this afternoon.

I hope you and your quests for the ideal holiday card photo are going well, and I’ll share more from the second half soon. Enjoy!

Filled Under : Babies and Families , Holiday PHotos , Pet Photos

From engagement to vidaai….

Filled Under : Celebration , Travel , Wedding

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