Tag archive for : Brooklyn

Joe and Erika got married on Saturday! I’m so pleased and proud to say that this is the fifth wedding I’ve photographed in their group of extended family and friends since 2012. Erika and Joe have been together that entire time! I’ve seen them go from being the “best man and his date,” to “that groomsmen and his fiancee” until finally- finally! Saturday was finally THEIR TURN to be the bride and groom!

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Erika rocked an amazing vintage-inspired look curated from BHLDN, Anthropologie’s drool-worthy wedding line. It’s so elegant and refined, and Erika with her classic beauty and big brown eyes WORKED it.

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Erika’s mom and bridesmaids helped her with all finishing touches, and then we were off to see the groom.

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As I rode the elevator up from the lobby with the groom to go see the bride in the penthouse of the Ravel hotel, he said, “I can actually feel my heart pounding.” He was so excited and nervous. The very thought of marrying the woman he has dated for exactly ten years was giving him butterflies, and it was completely adorable.

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As they saw each other for their first look, he pressed her hand to his heart so she could feel it pounding. It was such a sweet gesture.

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A few roof pictures and we went downstairs to see the wedding party and parents. Erika’s dad gathered her up in his arms after seeing her in her wedding dress. I’m telling you, Erika, you are so lucky to have these men in your life!

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A few posed family photos, and the wedding party and I hopped on their trolley for photo adventures along the East River.

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I *may* have posed a few “candid” moments on the trolley before we broke out the beer and sandwiches. But hey, there are no awkward “shoving a sandwich in my mouth” photos of anyone, you see? (I once had a photo of me shoving a giant bite of croissant in my mouth published in my college newspaper, and EVERYONE saw it. I was studying abroad, and my friends clipped out the picture to tease me about it in the spring semester when I got back. Totally embarrassing. I would rather somewhat annoyingly pose my brides and grooms for a minute or two of their down time than subject anyone else to that special brand of humiliation. SEE?!? IT’s ALL FOR YOOOOU!) That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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Ahem, ANYWAY, back to our photo adventures on the waterfront! Between the cityscape in the background, the gorgeous willow trees, the lovely afternoon sunlight, the artistic murals and the Empire State Building in the distance, I was in photo heaven.

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Thank you, wedding party, for following all my crazy instructions including running around in front of the trolley, jumping in front of murals and standing “in conversational clumps.” You guys were great, and I’m proud of the variety of shots we got. THANK YOU!

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One short trolley ride later, and after deftly navigating some construction for a few pictures outside the venue (the bride in Betsey Johnson heels, no less!), we stepped off the elevator at exactly 4:01 p.m. giving the wedding party an hour to relax before the ceremony.

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I got to shoot some detail shots and chat for a minute with the groom’s framily (friends who are like family, you see? Friend + Family = “Framily”) I actually have gotten or am getting to photograph them on- no joke- November 5th, November 19th and December 3rd of this year. They are threatening to adopt me, and I hope they do!

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Joe waited excitedly for Erika to walk toward him down the aisle on her father’s arm.

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The ceremony was deeply personal, a special blend of romantic and funny, which is exactly what you would expect for this couple. One of their readings included the following:

“If the alien invaders come and hover in stern judgment
over our cities, trying to decide whether to invite us to the Galactic Federation of Confederated
Galaxies or if instead a little genocide is called for,
I think our love could be a powerful argument for the continued preservation of humanity in general, or at least,
of you and me in particular.

If we were captives together in an alien zoo,
I’d try to make the best of it, cultivate a streak
of xeno-exhibitionism, waggle my eyebrows, and make jokes about breeding in captivity.
If I became lost in the multiverse, exploring
infinite parallel dimensions, my only criterion for settling
down somewhere would be whether or not I could find you:
and once I did, I’d stay there even if it was a world ruled by giant spider- priests, or one where killer
robots won the Civil War, or even a world where sandwiches
were never invented, because you’d make it the best
of all possible worlds anyway, and plus we could get rich off inventing sandwiches.”

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Love this photo of the groom’s mom with HER mom shedding happy tears…

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Some readings, some vows, the story of how they met, and then Erika dn Joe were sealing their promises with a kiss, followed immediately by a high five in the couple’s suite.

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Cocktail hour featured amazing craft beer AND a few of Manhattan at night, what could be better?

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The groom is actually the fifth consecutive man in his family to have the same name. This photo contains a Joseph D. the III, a Joseph D. the IV, and a Joseph D. the V. THAT doesn’t happen at every wedding!

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The bride and groom were introduced, took a spin around the dance floor and then had everyone join them for their first dance.

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I love the groom’s aunt/godmother. That is all I have to say about this photo.

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Erika’s sister Danica and Joe’s best friend Phil gave really nice toasts, including a funny story about the first time Joe met the bride’s family during spring break, and the two of them hung out in their PJs all week.

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After the toasts, everyone was doing that “tinkle your fork on your glass” thing to make the bride and groom kiss, while his mom and his “other mother” took a ton of photos. (I am so going to be that mother of the groom with my camera someday! That will be, like, 30 years from now, but still… This is so me in the future unless their ceremony reading is prophetic and we live in a world with alien overlords and no sandwiches.)

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After the cake-cutting and the parent dances, the fun really got started.

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An important member of the groom’s “framily” that I mentioned is a backup dancer for Sia. When the DJ played this song, her entire family busted out the choreography. Her pregnant cousin, her siblings, her mom and dad. Everyone did the choreography to Cheap Thrills.

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Then the DJ played a Pearl Jam song. Knowing the groom’s deep and abiding love for Pearl Jam, the groomsmen made a special request to crowd-surf the groom across the dance floor, which was epic.

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Who doesn’t love an amazing congo line?

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The bride and groom are in this shot, kissing with all of their guests on the dance floor all around them. These are the wedding day moments that are unforgettable, and it’s my pleasure to capture them for you so you will always have these memories.

Speaking of memory…. Now, one little thing about me, is that when I photograph a couple, my brain is going a thousand miles and hour. I’m figuring out lighting, worrying about focus, composition, ISO and shutter speed. I’m mentally checking off a five-page shot list and sticking to a timeline parceled out in five minute increments, and well- my brain starts to hiccup. It does this really weird thing where I decide that someone’s name is different than their actual name, and then I can’t stop calling them that. You know some people get a confirmation name, a Hebrew name or a Native American name? I give people their Photography Name. It’s really weird. Late in the ninth straight hour of shooting, I started calling the bride “Ashley.” (I can’t blame the long day; my brain defaulted to Ashely during their engagement shoot, too. I’m a special snowflake.) I know her name is Erika. But her Photography Name is Ashley.

Congratulations, Joe and Ashley!

I’m kidding! I’m totally kidding. I’m sorry my brain does this thing. Erika and Joe, I wish you a lifetime of happiness! Thanks for being a wonderful, fun-loving couple who is totally cool with me photo-bombing in their GIF-generating photo/video booth.

I couldn’t/wouldn’t photobomb just anyone, but you guys are special. Have the best Thanksgiving-on-a-beach honeymoon anyone has ever had!

Filled Under : Celebration , Wedding

This was my last of three session on Sunday. I was worried I’d be tired, but the time just flew by! We had time for leaf fights, tickle fights, books, family walks and bridge photos all around the Boathouse in Prospect Park. I said this on Facebook, but seriously, Blake and Riley were so cooperative and smiley, such good readers and spellers and listeners, that I kind of wanted to steal them. I’ve photographed them before, when Blake was a toddler and Riley was still inside her mom, and then once she arrived. They are such smart, funny little people that this session was a joy.

Filled Under : Babies and Families

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