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The Merion Wedding – Patty & Jesse

Whenever it rains on one of my couples’ wedding days, I never worry about the photos. I always figure that rain can make for some awesome candids of people scurrying around under umbrellas, and there are plenty of other unique portraits to be made. What I do worry about is a bride who is distraught by the weather.

From the minute I walked into The Hotel Monaco where Patty was getting ready, I instantly knew she was the farthest thing from stressed. She was happy, giggly, playing around with her beautiful bridesmaids and savoring every minute of those once-in-a-lifetime 24 hours that always go by faster than we want them to.

Her groom, Jesse, was equally laid back and took any and every opportunity to make my job as easy as possible. This even included moving construction materials out of my shot and even fighting off some very angry geese with a stick (thanks, man!). Long story short, I couldn’t have asked for a better couple to photograph this past Saturday.

I also wanted to give a big shout out to Miguel to thank him for second shooting with me, and for his awesome contribution to the blog images!

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Congratulations Patty & Jesse! Wishing you a beautiful future filled with days as amazing as this one!

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Longwood Garden Engagement Session – Jacklyn & Buzz

The apples don’t fall far from the tree, I always say. Jacklyn & Buzz were referred to me by two other completely amazing clients, Jesse and Patty. True to their friends’ good nature they were equally pleasant, patient and enthusiastic about my ideas. I think Buzz had to do a million squats for one particular shot in the set, and he did so without complaint. Jacklyn walked over a mile in some of the highest-heeled shoes I’ve ever seen, which of course made her legs look fabulous.

All the while they maintained a great sense of humor about everything! We even joked at the end that Buzz should wear a sign around his neck to the wedding that says, “Will work for great photos.” I’m definitely looking forward to working with these two again in May!

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Thanks again for the great time on Saturday, Jacklyn & Buzz!

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Whitby Castle Wedding – Jacquelynn & Daniel

What words do I use to describe a person who spends so much of her life buried in books? Beautiful, soft spoken, kind, and adored might be simple choices, but they are some of the first that come to mind. Daniel is playful, sweet, easy going and “has amazing hair that defies gravity.”

It was truly my pleasure to spend this past weekend up at Whitby Castle in Rye, New York, photographing the joining of two such special and unique lives. From the family members and wedding party, to the venue staff and band, every person I came in contact with at this wedding was extremely accommodating. I honestly felt spoiled by every one of them.

Finally, big thanks to Jim Heine for coming out and shooting this one with me! Awesome job as usual!

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To Jacquelynn and Dan: I hope you're having a blast in Jamaica and these images are everything you hoped for. Thank you for giving me a great start to a new year full what I can only hope will be full of weddings as amazing as yours!

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2015 In Review

As we prepare to ring in a new year and a brand new crop of amazing wedding clients, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the 2015 wedding season. It’s easy to mark my growth as an artist and a photojournalist by looking at some of my favorite images from this year below, but what is less apparent is my determination to get back to the roots that were responsible for LBP’s break-out success back in late 2009; meaningful relationships with the people I’m photographing.

I started this business because I loved weddings as much as I loved photography; I never spent an excessive amount of time dawdling in families, pets, newborns, or seniors because none of those would ever compare to the unpredictability and meaningfulness of wedding moments. To be entrusted with capturing these once-in-a-lifetime memories before they are lost in the barebones haze that I would use to describe my personal recollection of Sean and I’s wedding six years ago; there is no greater feeling of importance.

To this day we don’t have a side business like many other photographers; we JUST. DO. WEDDINGS. And we don’t have an associate to make extra money, because money isn’t the reason I got into this line of work and I don’t want to book weddings that neither Sean or I can be present for. What you get from LBP is a truly personal experience, and 2016 will see me hopefully not just continuing to improve on an artistic level, but really remembering that as well.

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Vogue magazine disgraces professional journalism; gives worst advice to brides ever.

Once upon a time, I was a professional magazine journalist, and it seems there is one "Rule It's Okay to Break" in 2016 that wasn't the case back in 2005: research and fact checking.

Molly Guy is the author of the controversial article entitled "The 10 Wedding Rules to Break, "which went live on January 6, 2016. In her article Molly states:

“It made sense back in the olden days, pre–Facebook albums and Instagram hashtags, when the whole world didn’t have phones with cameras on them. Having the actual leather-bound album on your coffee table seemed like the only evidence that the whole thing actually took place. If social media is not your thing, why not scatter some disposable cameras around the party and let your drunken guests go to town? You’ll end up with hilarious and candid pictures without the pressure of 'likes.'” 

Well I have a serious question for Molly: have you ever attempted to take a cell phone picture outdoors in the pitch dark? And I'm not talking from six inches away where your tiny, direct and unflattering, cell-phone flash might have a slim chance of reaching the subject, but from 15 feet away, which is where your closest guests would be seated in an outdoor evening ceremony? And yes Molly, people do have weddings exactly like this.

Now supposing a person with this type of wedding (which is common among Jewish ceremonies that usually take place after sunset) took this ignorant, ill-researched advice? They would have NO photos of their ceremony, as their guest pictures would be nothing but blackness like you see here:

Below photo taken at super-high ISO on a standard DSLR and on-camera flash:

Example-1

Below photo is the BEST ceremony image the couple received from their guests, which was taken during the brief period of time when the fire was providing additional light.

Guest Pic

Fortunately, this couple hired a professional experienced in Off-camera-flash (OCF) lighting (us), and these are our photos below. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I still think being able to actually recognize your faces during the ceremony is important.

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But, perhaps, instead they had followed Vogue's disgraceful advice, and ten years from now, when their memories have faded to gray, all of the special events of their day would be gone forever. And as much as we like to think to ourselves at the time, "I'll never forget this moment," six years later the sad reality is that we do.

So even if Molly is suggesting the quality of the images doesn't matter, had she interviewed a single photographer before publishing this piece, she would have easily discovered the many possible scenarios where cell-phone and disposable-camera photos would yield no recognizable photos at all, and perhaps made the wise decision to leave this statement out.

While the advice regarding professional photography is the main point of the article I take issue with, it is worthy of mention that 80% of the other advice published is outspoken and vapid material that attempts to use shock value to garner attention.

Tell me, where is the value in making suggestions like, "Don't have a reveal," "Being hand-fed cake is disgusting," and "Having a first dance is bizarre," without offering a more modern alternative to said advice?" As you said, this is 2016 and I think by now brides are well aware that if they don't want to make an event part of their wedding, they don't have to – they don't need articles like this making them feel lame because they actually LIKE to ballroom dance, or they grew up picturing smashing cake in each other's faces like their parents did, or maybe they’d prefer more time on their wedding day spent with their husband and actually want to remember his reaction to seeing them in the "adorbs" wedding dress they spent $4k on to wear for one day.

Finally, with regard to the importance of quality, Vogue has made its reputation on the inclusion of stunning professional photographs. When the Vogue staff starts exclusively using cell phone photos taken by their friends and family members to illustrate the publication's pages and online articles, I will be happy to eat my words.

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  1. Amy
    Jan 14 2016

    Great article! I especially love the line about “research”. Regarding this, I also had a bit of a rant about Molly Guy’s Vogue article when it came out. I tweeted directly to her company, ‘Stone Fox Bride’, asking her why the ‘real wedding’ blog on her website (functioning only due to the submission of professional wedding photographs from professional wedding photographers) didn’t include any guest phone photos on any of the entries. Odd, seeing as apparently that’s all you need these days… I also asked her why none of her top 10 wedding traditions to say “I don’t” to was to forego spending all that money on a wedding dress when you could buy an even more interesting & chic wedding dress for 1/10th of the price at a vintage dress store… oh, because Stone Fox Bride sells $5000/$6000 wedding dresses, that’s why…

    Honestly, her article was written mostly out of wanting to be controversial. Muppet.

  2. Diana Lang
    Jan 14 2016

    Thank you for making a professional response!